Dave's Rating:

5.0

… bittersweet …

Who's in It: Gael García Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alain Chabat, Miou-Miou, Aurelia Petit

The Basics: Explaining the plot won't prepare you for what you see in this movie, but here it is anyway: A man is held captive by his dreams and the people in them. Then he has to break out of them to reach the woman he loves. At least I think that's what it's about. You kind of have to see this bittersweet hallucination of a movie to really believe it.

What's the Deal? I think writer-director Michel Gondry has access to the movie pleasure center of my brain, because it's like he called me up and said, "Hey, Dave, would you like to see stop-motion animation of entire worlds made of cardboard and felt and cellophane? And would you also like it to be completely trippy and make emotional — if not narrative — sense and would you like it to star coolest-woman-in-France Charlotte Gainsbourg?" Because that's what happened. So maybe he did call me and ask, and I just forgot it happened.

Why Gael García Bernal is Possibly Superhuman: He manages to be more manic than Jim Carrey, portraying a narcissistic weirdo stalker who's full of unrequited longing, just this much on the wrong side of creepy, and he still comes off as charming.

For Fans Of: Bjork's Gondry-directed "Bachelorette" video, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and ambiguity.

The Thing in the Movie I Wish Were Real: The low-tech, rigged-up, piece-of-junk time machine that Bernal and Gainsbourg use to make time feel like a DJ scratching a record on a turntable. You could make your friends do the embarrassing stuff over and over again and never stop laughing at them.

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