Science of Sleep
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The Science of Sleep

4.2 15
Director: Michel Gondry

Cast: Gael García Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alain Chabat


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Inventive Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry takes a surreal trip through the mind of an introverted but wildly creative man whose attempts to balance his colorful dreams with his stark reality are complicated by the arrival of a beautiful woman into


Inventive Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry takes a surreal trip through the mind of an introverted but wildly creative man whose attempts to balance his colorful dreams with his stark reality are complicated by the arrival of a beautiful woman into his life. Shy Stéphane (Gael García Bernal) has returned to his childhood hometown to accept a new job. When the prospective employment offer fails to live up to expectations, however, Stéphane is at least comforted by the close bond he has formed with his creative-thinking neighbor Stéphanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Their blossoming romance finally awakens the sleeping confidence that the withdrawn Stéphane was previously capable of displaying only in his dreams, but Stéphane and Stéphanie find their relationship challenged when lingering insecurities prompt the smitten visionary to confront an old dilemma that can't be solved by the Science of Sleep.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Erstwhile music video director Michel Gondry, who dazzled critics and audiences with his Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, trumps that film with this whimsical, effervescent concoction. Mexican heartthrob Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) plays Stephane Miroux, a graphic artist who has a hyperactive imagination but little confidence with women. Returning to Paris after a long stay in Mexico, he takes a boring office job secured for him by his French mother (cult favorite Miou-Miou). Soon Stephane develops an instantaneous crush on the adorable Zoe (Emma de Caunes), a friend of his new neighbor Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg). But the bashful, immature artist doubts he can win her over. And that’s where Gondry starts toying with our expectations. From this point on, he depicts Bernal’s travails with exhilarating spontaneity and joie de vivre, training his camera at periodic intervals on Stephane’s endlessly creative imaginings, which conjure up deliriously childlike but mesmerizing images. As creative and visually stunning as anything seen in recent years, Science of Sleep never sacrifices its sense of wonder, and that’s what makes it so charming.
All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
On the heels of two feature-length collaborations with acclaimed screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and one curious but decidedly uncharacteristic collaboration with comedian Dave Chappelle, inventive cinema trickster Michel Gondry strikes out on his own with this wildly creative and psychically disorienting tale of an emotionally stunted man-child whose rampaging imagination frequently overpowers his ability to reason with the outside world. While his second feature, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, served well to pull Gondry back into favor after the perceived failure of his freshman effort, Human Nature, by showing that the skilled music video director was well capable of telling a story that audiences could truly connect with on an emotional level, The Science of Sleep shifts gears to tell the story of Stéphane (Gael García Bernal) -- a character who may not be as likable or sympathetic as Sunshine's protagonist at the onset, but is equally as compelling as the viewer is taken ever-deeper into his hyperactive, growth-stunted psyche. A difficult character to play due in large part to the fact that he seems to have lost his perspective on the outside world following the death of his father, manic artist Stéphane is handled with quirky confidence by Y Tu Mámá También star Bernal -- who instills his socially stifled character with a charming sense of adolescent wonder. Stéphane's surreal inner-world is a vivid realm of swirling color and unpredictable events that stands in stark contrast to the mundane real-world office that the love-starved protagonist remains reluctantly tethered to despite his distain for the good-natured workers who seem to have sacrificed their creativity in order to make ends meet. Thankfully Gondry himself does not seem to detest this unique collection of characters as much as the childlike Stéphane, because in taking the time to show how stridently they attempt to offset their daily grind by cutting loose outside of the office, the director and first-time solo feature screenwriter displays an assured means of drawing characters that are decidedly more sympathetic and likable than the emotionally aloof Stéphane -- whose floundering relationship with neighbor and struggling artist Stéphanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg delivering a playful but distant performance) seems permanently stalled for no tangible reason. It is the supporting players that allow the viewer to identify with the lovelorn artist, and without them The Science of Sleep would be little more a kaleidoscopic spectacle. As opposed to Sunshine's science fiction underpinnings, The Science of Sleep is a much more organic tale since it concerns itself not with the results of a speculative form of memory alteration but directly with the human mind itself; and this shows in Gondry's assured handling of the material. Where Sunshine was a love story with shades of science fiction, Science is an imagination story with elements of romance. Since The Science of Sleep deals not with an altered form of true reality but an alternate reality into which the protagonist frequently escapes during times of high stress, Gondry makes the wise decision of largely eschewing the digital chicanery of his previous foray into grey matter in favor of a return the lo-fi effects that defined his early music videos. Viewers whose tolerance for shifting realities is quick to be tested by the frequent mixing of dreams and reality are best advised to either make a concerted effort to jettison their need for solid cinematic ground or stay away altogether lest they give themselves an aneurysm attempting to distinguish between the two, because in Gondry's strange universe the point isn't always tied so much to what world his characters currently inhabit as it is their reaction to that world.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Commentary by writer/director Michel Gondry and stars; The making of The Science of Sleep; Featurette on Lauri Faggioni, creator of animals and accessories; Linda Serbu "Rescue Me" music video; And more

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gael García Bernal Stephane Miroux
Charlotte Gainsbourg Stephanie
Alain Chabat Guy
Miou-Miou Christine Miroux
Emma de Caunes Zoe
Sacha Bourdo Serge
Aurelia Petit Martine
Pierre Vaneck Monsieur Pouchet
Stephane Metzger Sylvain
Decourt Moyen Gerard

Technical Credits
Michel Gondry Director,Screenwriter
Georges Bermann Producer
Jean-Michel Bernard Score Composer
Jean-Louis Bompoint Cinematographer
Bertrand Delpierre Asst. Director
Florence Fontaine Costumes/Costume Designer
Dominique Gaborieau Sound/Sound Designer
Jean Gargonne Sound/Sound Designer
Nathalie Guillaume Casting
Frederic Junqua Co-producer
Julie Navarro Casting
Pierre Pell Production Designer
Stéphane Rozenbaum Production Designer
Guillaume Sciama Sound/Sound Designer
Studio Suzette Gondry Villemagne Animator
Juliette Welfling Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Science of Sleep
1. Dreamy Credits [3:48]
2. Home [4:14]
3. Disastrology [4:58]
4. Hands-on Office Rebel [4:50]
5. Runaway Piano [2:29]
6. Stephanie and Zoe [4:58]
7. Never the One I Like [3:59]
8. Animated Brainstorming [5:18]
9. Letter Riff [3:54]
10. Nothing Is for Real [4:40]
11. Card Connection [3:17]
12. My Dear Neighbors [2:30]
13. Approaching the Moon [5:10]
14. No Boyfriend Wanted [4:24]
15. Beautiful Objects [2:06]
16. One-Second Time Machine [1:50]
17. Pony Expressive [3:39]
18. Sleepscape [5:26]
19. Cheap Drug Dealer [3:45]
20. Matters Into His Hands [4:30]
21. Brain Loop [4:25]
22. Stop Playing With Me [4:27]
23. Not Leaving [3:31]
24. Riding Away Together [6:58]
25. End Credits [2:39]

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The Science of Sleep 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The French have a way with films that tinker with reality, fantasy, illusions, and delusions and the result of those traits have produced some of the most exciting and avant garde films ever made. Michel Gondry has inherited the mantle from Cocteau, Resnais, etc and runs with it in this charming little diversion of a film THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP. Gondry is primarily a visual artist and tells his stories in a visual manner, but that is not to say his stories are superficial or trivial: he has a preoccupation with the thin line between reality and non-reality, between dream and diurnal creativity, and it is this space that occupies his mind, his pen, his camera, and his mission in this little tale. Stéphane Miroux (the enormously gifted, dedicated and hunky Gael García Bernal) is a true 'artist', a young man whose father is Mexican and whose mother is French, and he has entered Paris to begin a job his mother Christine (Miou-Miou) assures him is creative: it actually is a boring, restricting graphic design outfit (though populated by some zany confrères including Guy played beautifully by Alain Chabat who allows to run with his idea of publishing a calendar whose months are pictured by world disasters!) that at first defeats Stéphane's artistic integrity. Stéphane dreams and in his dream life he is a TV host who can make the most impossible things happen. His work frustrations push him further into his dream world and he finds it more real than the mundane life of daytime. He lives across the hall from an equally delicate artistic mind named Stéphanie (the always fine and adroit Charlotte Gainsbourg) who is caught up in her own dream world of making little boats of paper and water of cellophane and clouds of cotton. The two begin a touch and run relationship that gradually develops into a mutual appreciation for each other's idiosyncrasies - in the best of all possible ways. Gondry peppers his script with make-believe constructions, testy conversations, and some very funny and naughty observations that he tosses off with aplomb. Gael García Bernal infuses this strange role with a facile use of three languages (English, French and Spanish) and with a tender sense of comic timing and sensual magnetism that makes him irresistible. He carries the fantasy on his capable shoulders allowing us to love his bizarrely complex character at every quirky turn. He is an actor who takes more risks than most and is destined to be one of our more important actors as he continues to gain attention. For those who need sharp margins of linearity and borders between reality and fantasy, this film may confuse and frustrate. But for viewers who love 'taking rides through dream fantasies on felt horses' this film is sure to please. Grady Harp
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was fantastic. It made me confused about reality and my dream world. It is one of my favorite movies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is nostalgia at it's best. Exactly how bizarre can a two hour movie get?? Whoever made this movie needs to tone it down on their creative side, because this movie was off the wall crazy. I loved it! It was "I heart Huckabees", but with good acting and a good plot. Dreams are weird, and showcased in this epic romance movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't recommend this movie for someone looking for a good story or plot. It's fun to watch mainly for the visuals- also because Bernal is very nice eye candy. Yum.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie really let me down. The acting wasn't bad, but the plot and movie itself was pretty horrible. There wasn't anything captivating to keep your attention. The dream sequences had potential but they ended up being stupid after the third or fourth time. I even tried to watch it twice and couldn't.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i think this director is getting a little too comfortable in his style, which shows in this movie, eternal sunshine used the broken-fall-thru to tell the story whereas this is all bravado. &quot oooh, look at my dreams, i like arts and crafts&quot which are kinda neat actually, like those old clay figurine cartoons... a few sweet moments but not much worth watching again, which would indicate how annoying it is overall, i mean, i watched The Mummy twice...
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