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The Science of Sleep
DVD disk
02.22.2007 By: Sturdy
The Science of Sleep order
Director:
Michel Gondry

Actors:
Gael Garcia Bernal
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Alain Chabat

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A young artist working a mundane desk job escapes his reality by entering his dream world where heís the host of his own TV show and his vivid imagination comes to life. However, itís in his reality where he struggles to turn off his imagination and deal with the issues the real world has to offer.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Many fans of ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND will notice the Michel Gondry connection immediately, but fans hoping for a repeat of that great film are sure to be disappointed. Sure, itís got the quirks that MIND had, but thatís just about it. Gone are the deep, emotional characters and carefully woven plot and instead, the audience is left with shallow people and imagery thatís too creative for its own good.

Unfortunately, the filmís greatest strength is also its greatest weakness and that happens to be the imagery. Itís beautifully creative, but itís overused to the point that its distracting. Not enough time is given to the two charming lead characters and instead, every other scene tries to outdo the last in terms of off-the-wall dream sequences. It seemed at times the real world scenes were more of an afterthought than the focal point. I liked how his dreams got more elaborate and frequent as his life got more confusing, but that was a concept that was never really realized. His inability to differentiate between his dream world and his real world should have been expanded more so the audience could feel something for the character.

One of the things that made MIND so great is that the audience was constantly rooting for the two leads to get together and in this one, I didnít really care. The audience never gets the time to care about the characters and instead weíre just waiting to see what crazy dream is going to come next. Ultimately, the audience is left feeling disappointed that what could have been a charming love story turned out to be a showcase for creative animation.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Michel Gondry, Gael Garcia Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Sacha Bourdo: This track was a decent listen although I found myself confused as they went from English to French without any warning. Gael and Michel do a good job of keeping the track moving.

Making of Science of Sleep (39:12): At almost 40 minutes, I felt that this was way too much information for a film like this. Itís clear Gondry made this for the DVD because it seems like it was made during the filming. It features interviews with the cast and crew and a walk through of some of the dream scenes.

Lauri (11:11): Lauri was in charge of creating the animals used in the film and this is her story. Sheís a strange bird, but Iím sure some will find her amusing. Iím not sure she deserved her own segment, but aspiring artists are sure to dig this featurette.

Rescue Me (3:32): Iím not sure how to describe this other than to say itís about a girl that runs a cat shelter. Itís set to one of the dream sequences in the film but Iím not sure how it relates to the movie.

Adopt Some Love (4:59): Again with the cats. This looks at more efforts of people to save cats. I had to mentally run through the film again and make sure I didnít miss anything about cats. To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing about cats, or rescuing them in the film, so I have no idea why these two featurettes are on here.

There are also some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Obviously, I was pretty disappointed in the film and therefore Iím not going to recommend you pick it up. It didnít have the character draw that previous Gondry films have had and overall, it just didn't work.
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