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.