Director: Michel Gondry
Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg
The Science of Sleep is about a young boy, Stephane, who mixes up reality with his dream world. His mom has Stephane move to France with her because she has a job lined up for him. When he gets there, he hates the job because it isn’t creative but his mom convinces him to stay working there. He meets a girl who’s his neighbor, Stephanie and falls in love with her. He tries to get her to see his world so they can be together. That’s about the only way I can explain this movie without giving away too much. It isn’t much, but it’s basically what it’s about.
First off, I’m torn about this film. The writing is great, great acting and directing, but the story is where it tears me apart. I love the premise of the story. We have this guy who seems to be a little crazy because he has his own little world that he lives in as well as the real world. In the first scene of the film, he’s filming a show but the cameras are cardboard. It’s his fantasy world. It’s here where we get how crazy he really is, but it’s also here where he story gets a little confusing. Throughout the film, Stephane interacts with people in the real world. But sometimes strange things happen and it gets hard to figure whether it’s really happening or if it’s just his fantasy world he switched too. The way I perceived it was that Stephane is really a crazy guy who can’t tell the difference between reality and his fantasy world and the other characters know he’s crazy. I understood a lot more and the film made more sense like this. If this is the way director Michel Gondry intended it to be, then I think he showed it well. However, despite these minor flaws the film carries itself well and leaves a lasting impression; art-wise.
I have to talk about the art aspect of this film because it’s what makes this film really good and a must see for people who appreciate the art of film. Throughout this movie there are props and animations used. For example, in the scenes where Stephane is filming his show the whole room is in cardboard. The cameras are cardboard, there’s a TV, etc. And during the later scenes, there’s a little cardboard city that he flies over. These props are amazing and they add to the quirkiness of the film and character. Even the editing is great(you’ll see when you see the time machine). It’s really hard to explain how all this makes the film really good and amazing. You just have to watch it for yourself to find out.
Overall, it was a great film with good characters and a quirky but good storyline. There are minor flaws but they don’t retract from the film. I think the director did a great job directing this film and even though the story is hard to follow at times, I think the more you watch it the more you’ll understand. I’ll definitely be watching this again. I’d even like to watch the commentary if there is any. Give this one a watch especially if you appreciate the art in films.