The Science of Sleep

2006

The Science of Sleep

Critics Consensus

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

70%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 162

81%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 144,351
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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 Their blossoming romance finally awakens the sleeping confidence that the withdrawn St (C)phane was previously capable of displaying only in his dreams, but St (C)phane and St (C)phanie find their relationship challenged when lingering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 (45)

Audience Reviews for The Science of Sleep

  • Oct 08, 2015
    The Science of Sleep is a refreshing view for dreamers and the young. A creative genius (and kindred spirit to the makers of all those trippy 80s music videos) with a sense of humor makes this an enjoyable film (especially for those who see art everywhere, all as material for dreams). Like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, this is bittersweet, though much more on the sweet side. Recommended to those with zest for life (or who have had it but need some rejuvenation).
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 26, 2012
    The perfect combination of creativity, surrealism, and quirky lapses in the language barrier.
    DA Z Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2012
    Make no mistake: Michel Gondry's "The Science of Sleep" is visually delightful. The extravagant stop-motion animation is thrilling, and various items (horses and cars, for instance) are inventively doctored to resemble giant children's toys. Even the water in the kitchen sink becomes something magical. Anyone who loved "Pee Wee's Playhouse" should not miss this film. But even Michael Bay needs a story to go with his special effects. This is where "The Science of Sleep" fails. Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal) wants to be a painter. He moves into his mother's apartment building and takes a crummy job at a small calendar-printing company. He also becomes infatuated with, literally, the girl next door (Charlotte Gainsbourg, igniting crushes all over the world). Most importantly, he has vivid fantasies that border on psychosis -- hence, a narrative excuse for all the hallucinatory imagery. That's about all you need to know. Really. Beyond the weak premise, the film's biggest flaw is that clammy, crazy-eyed Bernal just isn't an appealing lead. We don't care if he snags Gainsbourg or not -- in fact, someone of her charms obviously could do far better. Another actor might have made Stephane's delirious childishness endearing, but not Bernal. (Gondry's casting choices may have been limited, because the part has a tricky requirement of speaking English, Spanish and French.) Now, if you happen to crave hearing the Velvet Underground's "After Hours" sung by three guys in furry cat costumes, ignore the above complaints and run to your Netflix queue. Still, you probably would be happier with "Amelie" or even "Benny & Joon."
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 06, 2011
    I really liked this movie! It's smart, funny, unique, creative, different....it's definitely one of the most unique films I have seen in a while. I loved the dream vs. reality concept and the different visuals that went along with that. The animation/puppet-esque sequences were extremely clever. It's one of my favorite things about the film. Gael Garcia Bernal gives a very good performance. He's very funny, but still serious and affective at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed his character. I also loved Charlotte Gainsbourg's character. She also gives a good performance and the two main actors have great chemistry together. This is a great film that I think everything should see. It's just a good, unique comedy. It's hard to follow at times, but it's very enjoyable and entertaining.
    Jameson W Super Reviewer

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