The Science of Sleep


The Science of Sleep (2006)


Critic Consensus: Lovely and diffuse, Sleep isn't as immediately absorbing as Gondry's previous work, but its messy beauty is its own reward.


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Movie Info

Inventive Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry takes a surreal trip through the mind of an introverted but wildly creative man whose attempts to balance his colorful dreams with his stark reality are complicated by the arrival of a beautiful woman into his life. Shy St (C)phane (Gael Garca Bernal) has returned to his childhood hometown to accept a new job. When the prospective employment offer fails to live up to expectations, however, St (C)phane is at least comforted by the close bond he has formed with his creative-thinking neighbor St (C)phanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Their blossoming romance finally awakens the sleeping confidence that the withdrawn St (C)phane was previously capable of displaying only in his dreams, but St (C)phane and St (C)phanie find their relationship challenged when lingering insecurities prompt the smitten visionary to confront an old dilemma that can't be solved by the Science of Sleep. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Science of Sleep

All Critics (162) | Top Critics (42)

A thwarted love story that does not trade in the degraded cliches either of romance or conventional sexiness.

Feb 16, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

In the moment, Gondry and Bernal almost manage to give quirky a good name.

Feb 14, 2007 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The movie plays like an exhausted hallucination, disjointed and frustrating, much of it owing to the lack of chemistry Gondry allows between his stars.

Sep 29, 2006 | Rating: 3/5

In the end, after your time with it, you'll recall it with a smile, remembering its childish wonderment and mischievous sense of humor.

Sep 29, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It's all very cosmopolitan (the dialogue is English, French and Spanish), very independent, a wee bit juvenile and very confusing, of course. But The Science of Sleep is also remarkably magical and desperately romantic beneath it all.

Sep 29, 2006 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

The whimsy Gondry whips up soon goes wispy as we wait in vain for all this sweet-natured silliness to reveal a meaning that isn't transparently obvious.

Sep 29, 2006 | Rating: 2/4

Audience Reviews for The Science of Sleep

Romantic and hysterical! Very clever dream world of sock animals and cellophane seas. Gael García Bernal is awkwardly naive, and Charlotte Gainsbourg is understatedly worldly. Their clashing romance blossoms into the bittersweet, but I would have appreciated a bit more resolution on Stephane's misanthropic defense mechanism at the end.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer


Gondry has a thing for visual inventiveness but his self-indulgent, driftless narrative has dream sequences that don't feel dreamlike at all and only grows irritating as Bernal's character starts to resemble a wimpy Walter Mitty exchanging that horrible dialogue with Gainsbourg.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


What starts out maybe a tad too weird and quirky in the first few minutes soon creates its own odd little charming story of a man who loves to dream but sometimes can't tell it from reality. The movie feels very European, French even, and has director Michel Gondry's trademark effects that are simply fun and unique in their own way. That makes for a really entertaining and lovable little film with a very special sense of humor, which is certainly a bit too unusual for the general audience.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

it's probably one of the most boring movies i've ever seen. i even booked preserved ticket to watch it in the theater, but it was so dull that i just kept falling asleep. what's so fun to watch gael garcia pretends there's an explosion within his drawings? are you just five-year-old?

Veronique Kwak
Veronique Kwak

Super Reviewer

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