Science of Sleep
I think he’s going to hand him a beatdown.


Golden Mug

NOMINEE: Art Direction (Ann Chakraverty, Pierre Pell, Stephane Rosenbaum)

Theatrical Release Date: 08/16/2006 (France), 09/22/2006 (USA)
Director: Michel Gondry
Cast: Gael García Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg

For a movie about a guy who confuses his dreams with reality, I can’t believe how much I wanted to be woken up and told I could go home while I was watching “The Science of Sleep”.

I went into this film with decently high expectations. With Michel Gondry as the director, and I loved “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, I was hoping that the inventive and interesting visual techniques he used would propel this film from good to great.

Instead, those visuals were just about the only thing that I liked in the entire film.

While I respect Gael García Bernal as an actor in most roles, I found his character here to be quite unlikable. Sure, he had the boyish charm of a kid who mixed up his dreams with real life … but that’s all he had.

He was a child not only by still being a dreamer but in his emotional maturity. Maybe someone else might find that cute but I just wanted to punch him in the face most of the time as he tried to pursue his next-door neighbor, Charlotte Gainsbourg.

She had similar dreamer qualities but didn’t confuse fantasy for reality. Nor did she think whining and pouting was an acceptable course of action for an adult trying to have a relationship with another adult.

Her performance was good, as were those of her best friend and Bernal’s co-workers. Really, the only actor I was displeased with was Bernal and since he is the main character, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for mistakes.

The story had an interesting concept and Gondry pulled off the dream sequences nicely. However, a rewrite of the main character and probably a casting change would have made this movie at least bearable for me.

The audience I was with found a lot of humor in the film, perhaps I was just tired and didn’t get it. Still, I can only review with my own opinion and I’m giving “The Science of Sleep” a 2 out of 5.

I’d rather take a proper nap than sit through this one again. You might want to make sure you’ve already seen the better films currently out in theaters before plunking down your moolah on this one.