Movie Review: The Dreamers
Alternate Title: Sex, Celluloid and Politics or Les Miserables (including barricades) Meets Last Tango in Paris.
Story: The previews for this film seemed pretentious and prurient. I was poised to give it a minuscule Lobo Howl. Au contraire! I thoroughly enjoyed this visually stunning film, rife with luscious detail and am glad I went to see it.
Mentally it helps to flip back to 1968. If you were alive, alert and becoming an adult there is no way you can forget these turbulent times. The world was a crazy place and if you can remember what you were doing (other than fighting in Vietnam) I am sure a smile will come to your face.
The film takes place in 1968 Paris. The City has become enraged and politicized because the director Henry Langlois of the Cinematheque Francais (a bastion of the cinephile, intellectual movement) has been ousted. The City goes berserk - including barricades, demonstrations, city wide strikes and Molotov cocktails.
Enter a 20 year old innocent American student who meets up with a young twin brother and sister team as they are protest this ouster. They quickly move in together and the film changes to an internal revolution filled with sexual escapades, youthful philosophical discussions, more sex, great chats about film and even more sex. After a short while I grew tried of this threesome and wanted to know more about the political upheavals right outside their window.
Directed by the 63 year old Italian filmmaker, Bernardo Bertolucci, with a screenplay by Gilbert Adair from his novel The Holy Innocents we get a film that has some serious flaws but is worth any film buffs time. Don't believe the marketing promos - this film is about a lot more than simply prurient sexual encounters (although they were interesting to watch).
Acting: Michael Pitt (as the young American) is wonderfully cast (think an unaffected Leonardo Decaprio). He was also terrific in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Eva Green and Louis Garrel as the twins were both wonderful.
Predilection: My predilection was off the mark. Don't believe the promos.
Food: The food (or lack of food) was actually a funny part of the film. The threesome spent so much time indoors they ran out of food.
Visual Art: The detail in the set decoration was worth the price of admission. My favorite piece was the Mao lamp.
Blatant Product Placement: None.
Soundtrack: Solidly 60's complete with Hendrix, Joplin, Dylan and The Doors.
Opening Titles: A wonderful elevator ride down the Eiffel tower as titles roll by. I was hooked by this from the get go.
Theater Audience: I went with my college roommate and we had a few good laughs thinking about the 60's. The rest of the theater (not crowded at all) was a mish mash of singles, couples and I noticed one menage a'tois.
Sappy Factor: 0
Quirky Meter: 0
Squirm Scale: 0 - For those of you out there who are a bit prudish, be warned that there is full frontal nudity (much more than Janet Jackson's boob) and some intense sexual encounters.
Predictability Level: Moderate
Tissue Usage: 0
Oscar Worthy: No
Nit Picking: The film had a voice-over (unnecessary).
Big Screen or Rental: Go for the big screen. For some other Bertolucci films, how about trying: Besieged, Stealing Beauty, Little Buddha, The Sheltering Sky, The Last Emperor and Last Tango in Paris
Length: Under two hours.
LOBO HOWLS: 7