The Dreamlife of Angels (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Dreamlife of Angels (1998)



Critic Consensus: Showcasing excellent lead performances, The Dreamlife of Angels is an intelligent, absorbing character study of two women.

Movie Info

Elodie Bouchez and Natacha Regnier both won "Best Actress" honors at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival in this naturalistic drama about two women alienated from mainstream society. After a trio of short films, this is the feature directorial debut of 41-year-old French filmmaker Erick Zonca. With opening scenes reminiscent of Agnes Varda's Vagabond (1985), optimistic hobo Isa (Bouchez), with her life in her backpack, has a gritty existence on the road, going from one town to another through northern France, working factory jobs and selling cards. After she loses a garment-factory job, her withdrawn, near-catatonic co-worker Marie (Regnier) lets Isa share space in her Lille living quarters -- an apartment actually belonging to a hospitalized mother and daughter. Marie begins an affair with burly bouncer Charly (Patrick Mercado) before achieving an emotional breakthrough with sleazy, animalistic club-owner Chriss (Gregoire Colin). Meanwhile, Isa becomes fascinated with the girl who lived in the apartment but now lies in a coma at the hospital. The film combines handheld camerawork with a minimalist music score (Yann Thiersen) and documentary-like street sounds.


Critic Reviews for The Dreamlife of Angels

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (12)

Frank, intimate, touching, with an emotional immediacy that is killing.

February 14, 2001 | Full Review…

There's not a single encounter in The Dreamlife of Angels that isn't vivid and emotionally full.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

As raw and immediate as it is heartfelt.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/5

We aren't just watching Isa and Marie endure the tiny triumphs and hardships of their lives; we're experiencing those ups and downs alongside them.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Completely absorbing, almost rudely poignant.

January 1, 2000

Heralds a humanist cinema that neither shortchanges our minds nor cheapens what's in our hearts.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Dreamlife of Angels

A charming set of gals from two much different backgrounds become friends and collide their lives with a number of trying life situations. Very watchable.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Excellent performances from the two lead actresses. Incredibly intense and real story, with a particularly emotional ending.

Emily B.
Emily B.

Super Reviewer


A beautiful and realistic protrayal of lost human beings looking for their own place in the world; perfectly performed and paced, even when not completely memorable.

Quinto Wallight
Quinto Wallight

Super Reviewer

The Dreamlife of Angels Quotes

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