The Science of Sleep

Special dream ponies ride magic cloud love over cardboard happy cities of nightmare giant hands in this layered film from writer/director Michel Gondry. It’s gloriously sumptuous and yet also sad in a way that doesn’t involve large-eyed children sucking lollipops and staring at the camera. Gael García Bernal stars as Stéphane, a young man who can’t distinguish dreams from reality. He falls in love with Stéphanie, an artist who makes felt boats and cellophane oceans that Stéphane wants to dive into, as long as it involves nakedness and Stéphanie pressing against him in a way that is both cute and erection-making. Gondry does a great job of making the dreams count, the emotions real, the world vivid and the ending powerful, and The Science of Sleep’s animated sequences and tender love story make this the best Gumby cartoon ever filmed.

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