Review Roundup: 'The Science of Sleep'

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In limited release this weekend – Director Michel Gondry, post- Block Party, sans like-minded screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, but back to the subconscious in this fantastical, magical mystery tour of the mind – The Science of Sleep (Trailer). Dreamer slash visionary of the highest order, Stephane (Gael García Bernal) finds that waking and working hours pale in comparion to his cerebral, nocturnal happenings – and then arrives next-door neighbor Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsborg). Awkward, romantic call and response follows, along with melding of the real/surreal. Elaborate set design, whimsical cardboard constructions, stop-motion techniques, Bernal, Gainsbourg – much eye candy to be had, for sure. But what substance lies below the music video veener? Early word out on the wire:

“Plays out like an indie version of Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, albeit with none of the star power, a quarter of the budget, half the angst, and twice the charm.” – The Onion’s A.V. Club.

“It’s rare for young actors to exude as much charisma and charm as Gainsbourg and García Bernal; they flicker like tiny, pulsating stars in a glaring galaxy of manufactured celebrity.” – L.A. Times

“A breathtakingly imaginative film, positively littered with arresting visuals that could only have come from Gondry’s mind…Those who come to this expecting a romantic comedy will be confused and likely angry…Those who get it, though, are likely to get it hard and so while unlikely to further the cult of Gondry, The Science of Sleep should further cement his status among already existing acolytes.” – via Twitch.

“So profoundly idiosyncratic, and so confident in its oddity, that any attempt to describe it is bound to be misleading…you leave this buoyant, impish movie feeling a little blue: sorry that it had to end and also wishing, perhaps, that it amounted to more. – The New York Times.

More of the generally positive, yet “left wanting” reviews, via Metacritic.

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Posted by Ted Zee on September 22nd 2006 | Home Page | 4 Comments Subscribe to this site's feed

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