One of my favourite ever films is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I love the insanity of it, the pain, the romance and the magnificent cinematography. But I’ll write on that another time. The Science of Sleep is by the same director, Michel Gondry, and has a lot of similarities. Although where Eternal Sunshine is on memories, this is on dreams. Now, I’m predicting what you’re thinking – dreams in films are a tedious cop-out that leaves the audience unimpressed. Not when the director is Michel Gondry.
Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal) has returned to Paris and to his (mostly absent) mother after his father’s death. He takes a job in a calendar company with a group of odd misfits but dreams of something more creative. After an accident with the moving of a piano, he meets his neighbour Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her friend Zoe (Emma de Caunes). Stephanie and Stephane both inhabit a mysterious artistic world. In the case of Stephane, not only does he live much of his life in dreams, but his dreams are somewhat real. Also, he invents amazing things, like a time machine that only works for one second increments, or 3D glasses that make 2D images come to life. He wants to pursue Stephanie, but his dreams get in the way.
It is beautiful, like watching any of Gondry’s music videos, however I started to grow tired of the story. There was so much information being thrown at me that by the end, I was exhausted. The film moved between French and English (and occasionally Spanish) which beautifully portrayed Stephane’s struggle with returning to Paris. I would still recommend it to anyone who loves beautiful films.