REVIEW: The Science of Sleep (2006)

Review by Joe Goff

Directed by: Michel Gondry

Written by: Michel Gondry

Starring: Gael García BernalCharlotte GainsbourgAlain Chabat

The second major feature by “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” director Michel Gondry is an unusual glimpse into the mind of the surreal French-born director.

The film follows Stephan (Gael Garcia-Bernal), a blue-collar office drone by day, but creative genius by night. In his dreams he runs a topical talk-show about his own life and subconscious thoughts. He thinks of the right thing to say just when he needs to, he can talk to the girl of his dreams without batting an eyelid and most of all he can say exactly what he wants about the people around him without the inevitable repercussions.

However, when he can no longer tell the difference between dreams and reality, things start to become difficult.

This is a film that smashes apart the Hollywood mould ‘Mulholland Drive’ style, studded with ingenious and complex animations, made by Gondry and his crew at his mother’s farm in the South of France; like whole cities built from cardboard tubes and Sellotape.

This film is extremely well written – as it follows Stephan to insanity and back you begin to understand him more and more as a character, a bad artist and flagging inventor with no creative outlet who has no other option than to become a full time pretender.

The Science of Sleep has more imagination in a single scene than the entire filmography of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. This is a film which will surely inspire the imagination of anyone who has ever felt creatively unappreciated.



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