A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
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THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP
2006 - Michel Gondry - France / Italy
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The Science of Sleep is such a bizarre film that some audiences may be easily turned off. However, to me the film is a wondrous joy of endless imagination and romantic fantasy. I found this film so charming and full of imagination that it won me every way step of the way. The two leads are absolutely outstanding and when on screen together the films sparkles with appeal. There has never been a question that Gael Garcia Bernal is a brilliant actor, but Charlotte Gainsbourg is a revelation here. Gainsbourg radiates energy and charm as Stephanie, Bernal's neighbor and love interest. The film is magical in its portrayal of dreams and reality, as well as the combination of the two. Narrative speaking The Science of Sleep is fairly simple but Gondry (expanding on a basic premise from one of his own early short films) gives it such an appealing and extravagantly mind-blowing touch that is (like dreams and perhaps even reality) equally messy and charming. Gondry's influence roots stem from the French poetic fantasy realism of the 1930s, and ultimately The Science of Sleep is a romantic fantasy about innocence, longing, imagination, as well as an inner struggle with life and love. The film is certainly surreal, but with a tone of light-heartedness. At once, bizarre, beautiful, funny, and romantic The Science of the Sleep is a lovely film with loveable performances from Bernal and Gainsbourg. The joys and wondrous imagination grew even stronger with repeat viewings, such as these two souls (fittingly names Stephane and Stephanie) share what Bernal's character calls them "Parallel Synchronized Randomness". I really can't overstate how lovely these lead performances are. Bernal continually proves to be one of the most interesting actors of modern cinema, and Gainsbourg is an absolute charmer. It is not so much the romantic chemistry amongst the two, because there really isn't much of a romantic connection. It is more a chemistry of two people's chaotic mix of emotions and sensitivities that make relationships so complicated and complex. Through Gondry's vision the film captures this beautifully with a sense of innocence, longing, and doubt, as well as hope and letdown. Anyone who has seen Gondry's music videos from Bjork knows his imaginative vision, but this film (without Bjork or Kaufman) proves him to be a unique talent.
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