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Movie Review: The Science of Sleep

Alternate Title: To Sleep: Perchance to Dream

Story: Man-child Stephane Miroux's dream life is much more exciting than his waking life. This magic realism film is filled to the brim with dream sequences that are fun to watch, at times comical (in a claymation sort of way) and charming. The problem with the film is that there are so many dream sequences that it loses itself somewhere in the middle (in a muddle).

Director and write Michael Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) tries too hard and we end up with a film that misses the mark. Stephane (who was raised in Mexico by his father) moves to Paris to live in his mother's empty apartment after his father dies. He is locked into a boring typesetting job in a calendar production office. He hates his uneventful life and creates a fantastic dream life where he is the star of his own TV show. This part of the film is fun and creative until that angle is overused. He meets his waif-like neighbor Stephanie and their relationship becomes much more interesting than his dreams. I longed for Director Gondry to elaborate on their real romance and cease and desist with all of the dreams.

Should you see this film? If you like weird, a bit quirky and perhaps a bit stoned, check out this film. Otherwise, wait for it on your Netflix picks.

Acting: Gael Garcia Bernal is one of my favorites and will be taking Johnny Depp's parts as soon as Depp is too old to play the usual elfin roles. Bernal's film choices are smart. Despite the weakness in the film both he and his co-star Charlotte Gainsbourg have exceeded the material and shine.

Predilection: I like Gael Garcia Bernal.

Critters: Lots of wonderful felt dream critters including a wonderful horse.

Food: There seems to be no eating in dreams.

Opening Titles: The film immediately grabs you into a charming sequence.

Visual Art: A visual buffet of images to delight the artist in you. Credit is due to real life artist Lauri Faggioni for her hand made felt creations.

Theater Audience: Surprisingly crowded for an early Sunday show. The crowd was very young (or am I just old?)

Weather: The weather is always 72 and sunny in his dreams.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 3

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I admit to drifting into my own dreams when there were too many of his.

Predictability Level: I did not know where this film was headed and the ending does leave some fodder for discussion as to what you think happens to our stars.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: It is up to you as to whether to see it on the big or small screen. Here are a few of my favorite Gael Garcia Bernal films to rent: The King, Bad Education, The Motorcycle Diaries, El Crimen del padre Amaro, Y tu mamá también, Amores perros

Length: Under two hours.