The Science of Sleep is essentially Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind without the brain damage. With these two consecutive movies, director Michel Gondry appears to be fashioning an auteurship defined by the winsome relationships of winsome young people. In Eternal Sunshine, Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey's romance contends with the vagaries of memory and the almost distracting genius of the screenplay. In Science of Sleep, Gael García Bernal and Charlotte Gainsbourg's relationship contends with the confusing interplay of reality and dreams. They're both surrealist romantic comedies -- clever in content and execution.
But while Sunshine was Kaufman's show, Science is Gondry unleashed; it uses all the visual tricks of his music videos to make up for the intentional lack of story. The result is pure cinema. When it ends, you feel like you've just woken up and are trying to remember a fast-fading dream. It's pleasant. And winsome. But my takeaway? Bernal. Never been smitten. But here the guy proves he has some serious charisma in front of the camera.
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