Release Date: September 22, 2006
Experiencing a Michel Gondry film is like watching an adult's life through a child's eyes. Following in the footsteps of Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep it is a kaleidoscopic journey into a dream world that only Michel Gondry could compose. Though laced with creativity and originality, the film proves to be somewhat disappointing as it just runs out of gas.
After leaving his home in Mexico, Stéphane (Gael García Bernal) finds himself back in France for a job interview arranged by his mother. He finds the job does not suit his creativity in the way his mother had described, and realizes she was just attempting to bring him closer to her.
Stéphane, who takes very little control of his life, finds solace in his dreams. His subconscious seems to fix any inadequacies or uncertainties that he may encounter during his waking life. It is when Stéphane loses his ability to perceive the difference between dreaming and waking life, things starts to spiral out of control.
A turning point for Stéphane is when he first meets his new neighbor Stéphanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Reluctant and shy, he lies about living in the same building as Stéphanie for no apparent reason. Initially attracted to Stéphanie's best friend, Stéphane finds something much deeper within his new neighbor. He appreciates her creativity and open-mindedness to his amusing and sometimes eccentric behavior. The two characters engage in a subtle romance until Stéphane's dreams start to interfere with his everyday relationships.
The film begins with a highly amusing scene that depicts Stéphane's dream world, which happens to be a television show, starring himself. The visuals, costume, and set design are nothing short of stunning. Following in the spirit of Being John Malkovich and Gondry's own film Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, the sets burst with life and character. Each dream sequence is like taking a trip back in time, when a fun afternoon consisted of building a fort out of cardboard boxes and blankets. The film is truly original and touches of personality grace every piece of wardrobe and prop.