The Science of Sleep (2006)

Actors: Gael Garc? Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alain Chabat, Miou-Miou, Pierre Vaneck
Directors: Michel Gondry
AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio:
Number of discs: 1
Warner Home Video
Run Time: 106 minutes

DVD Features:

  • Available Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Commentary by writer-director Michel Gondry, Gael Garcia Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Sacha Bourdo
  • The Making of The Science of Sleep
  • Featurette on Lauri Faggioni, creator of Animals and Accessories
  • Linda Serbu "Rescue Me" music video
  • Adopt Some Love: a Linda Serbu film
  • Theatrical trailer



There are only about five people on this planet who would sit through this movie I thought as the end titles scrolled for The Science of Sleep.

Directed by Michael Gondry who directed (but did not write) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep aims for deliberate weirdness, something which it probably achieves.

A young graphic designer who does a soul-numbingly dull job at a calendar business falls in love with the girl living next door to him. However, she doesn't appear to be returning his affections; maybe because he is such an oddball who has real problems coping with real life and is downright creepy when one thinks about it. For starters, he doesn't want her to know that his mother is their apartment building's landlady or that he is in actual fact her neighbor. But even more debilitating is the fact that the young man (played by Gael Bernal of Babel fame) has trouble differentiating between what is real and his increasingly erratic dream life.

Consisting of live action interspersed with surreal stop-motion animated sequences, The Science of Sleep at times seems to be a case of weirdness purely for the sake of weirdness. At its heart is a love story, but unlike the one recounted in Eternal Sunshine, Science of Sleep seems too cute and contrived to have been inspired by real life and experience. This contrivedness leaves an emotional vacuum at the centre of the film. Our central protagonist may be an oddball, but he's too good-looking and gosh darned cute to be convincing: The Science of Sleep seems too much like Gondry's wish-fulfillment to a degree.

Add to this a few dream sequences that drag on for too long, then The Science of Sleep blows its chance at being the next Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Still, the movie has its charms and its European sensibilities will satisfy art house patrons or those who seek something simply different to the latest Hollywood ?hero battling vampires? effort.

Be warned though: if ?weird? isn?t your thing, then The Science of Sleep won't be either.



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