Dreaming Reality
Science of Sleep
Review by Ross Anthony

Stephane is a young man with a great imagination, passionate creativity, and vivid dream world that is so life like – he believes it. The filmmakers take advantage of old super 8 film animation to bring Stephane’s sleep life onto film. This creates a warm, childlike and nostalgic feel to those sequences. The cardstock cutout city buildings that rock back in forth in the wind feel like waves. They create a great feeling of the floor of a dream. And the flying sequences, though extremely lo-tech, succeed in stirring that feeling of flight, stirring a few stomach butterflies. In fact, the lo-fi, unpolished edges of the film keep it earthy and sort of more real. It’s a great recipe when the goal is the surreal.

Add to that a cardboard film studio that Stephane tunes into as punctuation during the main story – and the surreal is cemented. Two big window shades on the studio open and close in synchrony with his eyes during sleep. Sweet.

That said, early on, a few props don’t quite work (large puffy hands the size of blow up rafts go a little over the edge of unpolished and subtract instead of add to the dream effect). The actual story that transpires in the actual reality (which the audience is always left guessing over) is a cute, almost cuddly, love story. It’s sweet, I like it a lot, but it feels a bit small in scope. And with a somewhat vague resolution, endearing as it may be, it doesn’t quite quench. And while exceedingly playful in its portrayal of the world of dreams and the world of the world and how exactly they might interact and overlap from the point of view of this unique individual – the film doesn’t teach us much or enlighten much or even inspire, though it certainly had the chance. (Quite likely many other viewers would appreciate it for that fact.) A very strong B+. A slightly harder hitting conclusion would have easily bumped it into the A range. Still, strong direction and a great performance by Charlotte Gainsbourg as Stephanie.

Interview w/ Director Michel Gondry(6 mins)


  • Coach Carter. Copyright © 2006.
  • Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alain Chabat, Miou-Miou, Emma de Caunes, Aurelia Petit, Sacha Bourdo.
  • Written & Directed by Michel Gondry.
  • Produced by Georges Bermann at Warner Indi,Gaumont,Partizan/Fance3/Canal/TPS star.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2019 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:53:27 PDT