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The Science of Sleep

Gael García Bernal , Charlotte Gainsbourg , Michel Gondry    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product Description

The Science of Sleep, a playful romantic fantasy set inside the topsy-turvy brain of Stephane Miroux (Gael Garcia Bernal) an eccentric young man whose dreams constantly invade his waking life. Stephane pines for next-door neighbor, Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), but she becomes confused by his childishness and shaky connection to reality. Unable to find the secret to Stephanie's heart while awake, Stephane searches for the answer in his dreams.


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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Issue with disc Nov. 25 2013
By Jenelle
Format:DVD
I love this film and purchased it for my significant other's birthday. We know the film well, and the issue we had with this particular copy was strange. The disc was brand new and came out of a new case, and did not have any blemishes on it at all. However, more than half way through the movie, it wouldn't move past a particular point, as though there was damage to the disc. I think it is about 15 minutes that just doesn't work, which is fairly integral to the movie in general as well as this plot. We tried getting through this by trying it over and over again. We were watching it in our blu-ray player, tried it in another DVD player as well as MacBook and it is the same result. This has never happened to me before and I own dozens and dozens of DVDs and blu-rays.

Love the movie, my particular copy is a strange one.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dream on Oct. 20 2006
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Every person has vivid dreams -- so vivid that when they wake, it's hard to tell what's real and what was just in your dream.

And Michel Gondry, the genius behind "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," is just the director to tackle a movie about those dreams. Peppered with some of the weirdest scenes imaginable, Gondry guides this bizarre, sublime little movie to heights that most directors couldn't even dream of. (Pun intended)

Stéphane Miroux (Gael García Bernal) is a creative young dreamer from Mexico, who is lured back to Paris to live with his widowed mother. Unfortunately, the job she gets him is dull and creativity-free -- making calendars. The only upside is Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a young woman who has moved into the same building.

Though he is initially attracted to her roommate, he soon finds that it is Stephanie he likes. Their involvement starts off well, but soon Stéphane has bungled things. He becomes increasingly wrapped up in his bizarre dreams, which are encroaching on his view of "reality." Will reality or dreams triumph, and will Stéphane be won over by love?

With a movie like "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" under his belt, it must be hard for Gondry to try to surpass himself. And while "Science of Sleep" is another exploration of the mind, it's a radically different kind of movie -- visual, quirky, and with a bittersweet edge. It has some disjointed moments, and it's not nearly as accessable, but the overall effect is like one long dream.

In a way, this movie is about escaping reality, into the labyrinth of your mind -- it might make you feel better for awhile, but ultimately it won't solve your problems, or improve your life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  104 reviews
59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In dreams Oct. 20 2006
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Every person has vivid dreams -- so vivid that when they wake, it's hard to tell what's real and what was just in your dream.

And Michel Gondry, the genius behind "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," is just the director to tackle a movie about those dreams. Peppered with some of the weirdest scenes imaginable, Gondry guides this bizarre, sublime little movie to heights that most directors couldn't even dream of. (Pun intended)

Stéphane Miroux (Gael García Bernal) is a creative young dreamer from Mexico, who is lured back to Paris to live with his widowed mother. Unfortunately, the job she gets him is dull and creativity-free -- making calendars. The only upside is Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a young woman who has moved into the same building.

Though he is initially attracted to her roommate, he soon finds that it is Stephanie he likes. Their involvement starts off well, but soon Stéphane has bungled things. He becomes increasingly wrapped up in his bizarre dreams, which are encroaching on his view of "reality." Will reality or dreams triumph, and will Stéphane be won over by love?

With a movie like "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" under his belt, it must be hard for Gondry to try to surpass himself. And while "Science of Sleep" is another exploration of the mind, it's a radically different kind of movie -- visual, quirky, and with a bittersweet edge. It has some disjointed moments, and it's not nearly as accessable, but the overall effect is like one long dream.

In a way, this movie is about escaping reality, into the labyrinth of your mind -- it might make you feel better for awhile, but ultimately it won't solve your problems, or improve your life. And to find love, you have to face the pain of reality. By the finale, some measure of peace is attained -- but still its meaning is utterly ambiguous. The viewer can decide what happens.

For the visuals, Gondry falls back on his music-video past. His music videos for the White Stripes, Bjork and Chemical Brothers were all wonderfully strange, and this movie is full of kittycat suits, enormous hands, and other magical items that seem plucked from a child's whimsical daydream. Even the mundane surroundings are colourful and striking.

Bernal plays a difficult character -- let's face it, Stéphane is rather strange, with a child's wonder and selfishness. But through glimpses into Stéphane's mind, Gondry creates sympathy for his awkwardness and creativity, and his yearning for love. The scenes where Stéphane and Stephanie (similar names for similar people) make things together has a curiously innocent intimacy.

Whimsical and almost hallucinogenic, "The Science of Sleep" is one of the most unique and compelling movies of the last year. It's not as accessable as his prior films, but it has its own bizarre charm.
51 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life is like a dream. Literally. Oct. 13 2006
By Maine Writer - Published on Amazon.com
The Science of Sleep isn't an easy movie. Not at first, at least. I begins a bit self-consciously and then creeps up on you, drawing you into the strange, unsettling worlds of the subconscious and then playing tricks with the viewer about the sometimes subtle differences between dreams and reality. I found myself in strangely familiar terrain, thinking back to my first love and the sadness, joy, wonder, insecurity, and, finally, pain over what was never meant to be. The moments of private craziness and creativity. The magic of that emotional bond on young hearts. Flipping back and forth between the mainly realistic and the sensationalistically bizarre, The Science of Sleep is a meditation on the human mind and heart.

I loved Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's probably my favorite movie. The Science of Sleep causes the same emotions to well up inside me; it's a similar, but unique meditation on the familiar theme of who we are, why we love, and the strange magic of human relationships.
27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The brain is the most complex thing in the universe! And it's behind the nose." March 14 2007
By Bart King - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I quite liked "La Science des Rêves." Its whimsy, acting, and design are all worthy of admiration. Particularly enjoyable is director Michel Gondry's various delightful and low-tech sets and special effects. At its best moments, the movie resembles the work of a prodigiously talented film student; it has that mix of unbridled creativity, innocence, and yes, even an endearing pretentiousness.

And yet as soon as the film was over, I felt disappointed. It seemed to me that perhaps TOO much thought went into the movie's design, leaving the story somwehat malnourished. As the film is mostly in the form of a dream, this may seem like a nonsensical criticism, so let me amend my criticism; Stephane (played by the gifted Gael García Bernal) comes across as eccentric, perhaps even mentally ill. Fine, fine. But in the end, he also convinces us that he is infantile, and perhaps even irredeemably creepy and less interesting than we thought.

Roll credits and cue disappointment. Let me reiterate though, this is a refreshingly irrational film, and quite fascinating on its own terms.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's Real and What's Imagined? Jan. 10 2007
By Leslie Halpern - Published on Amazon.com
In writer-director Michel Gondry's new film, "The Science of Sleep" he compares the sleep cycle to an internal television station in which the dreamer is host and star of every show. Welcome to Stephane TV where a cooking show combines memories, reminiscences, relationships, and a pinch of "other kinds of ships" in a large mixing bowl to produce a tasty blend of Stephane's dream life.

In this mind-boggling romance, man-child Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal) finds the woman of his dreams (literally). An artist and inventor stuck in a menial job with obnoxious co-workers, Stephane finds his alter ego in next-door neighbor Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg).

By constantly confusing his dream world with his waking life, however, Stephane runs the risk of permanently losing his tentative grasp of reality. Similar in subject and style to dream movies such as Waking Life, Vanilla Sky, Monkeybone, and more specifically Gondry's, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (Widescreen Edition) this imaginative film packs lots of entertainment, style, meaning, and, of course, emotion into a seemingly endless series of dazzling dream sequences.

Leslie Halpern, author of Dreams on Film: The Cinematic Struggle Between Art and Science and Reel Romance: The Lovers' Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The film fell short May 31 2007
By Victek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I was initially charmed by the premise that the main character, Stephan, could not tell if he was awake or dreaming a lot of the time. I loved the style of animation used to portray his dreams and whimsical personality. However the film does less well developing the relationship between Stephan and Stephanie which is the heart of the story. Although their "inner children" are kindred souls neither one seems to have the maturity to sustain a relationship. Stephan is so needy he virtually throws himself at Stephanie. The movie helps us understand him by alluding to the death of Stephan's father and alienation from his mother. On the other hand we don't learn much about Stephanie. Is she ambivalent because she's been hurt in the past? Is she wary of Stephan's neediness, or should we take her statement that she simply "doesn't want a boyfriend" at face value? We don't know what makes her tick, and she seems quite passive and reactive.

I count myself among the many who hope for a happy ending when they see a romantic comedy. If I can't have a happy ending I at least want a clear ending, but I got neither. The confusion and uncertainty that plagued these characters all through the film remains unresolved. It appears that even the film makers could not make a commitment to these characters. Frustrating!
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