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The Science of Sleep Review

Movies.com Critics

5.0

Dave White Profile

… bittersweet … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    70

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The Science of Sleep is like a weird dream that tugs at the memory throughout the day with its intriguing, misshapen pieces.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The look of the film is dazzling, even hallucinatory, and the concept is beyond quirky as conceived by Gondry, a talented visual stylist, in his first film based on his own script. The story is compelling, unconventional and diverting in its blurring of reality and fantasy.

    Read Full Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Charming and strange, with lovely animated scenes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this arty French film consists mostly of fanciful/dream-like scenes that can seem nonsensical and lack a clear narrative drive. (In other words, kids won't be clamoring to see it.) There's some slapstick violence (falls and fisticuffs with enlarged hands), and Stéphane draws "disaster" images for the calendar company where he works (which also produces calendars featuring naked women). The movie includes brief shots of Stéphane naked in a bathtub and emerging to don a robe. But his desire for Stéphanie is rendered metaphorically, in dreamy images of heroic feats and horseback riding. Characters smoke cigarettes and drink at a party. Some profanity.

  • Families can talk about the nature of dreams. What do dreams "mean"? Is it possible to interpret them definitively? How do they convey unconscious or submerged desires and fears? Why don't we remember more of our dreams? How does Stéphane "act out" his anxieties in his dreams?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: This is an extremely internal, subjective tale that emphasizes the protagonist's childish desires: He wants to be loved and nurtured, but he behaves selfishly and naively.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Slapsticky and hallucinatory violence, including a piano carried on a stairway that falls onto the protagonist (causing a sprained arm); a bump on the head that produces blood; Stéphane's childlike calendar drawings depict disasters (plane explosion, earthquake); an antic "fight" with oversized hands.

  • sex false3

    Sex: The protagonist works in an office that produces "nudie" calendars (brief glimpse of a couple of photos, some cartoonish, imagined sexual activity involving office workers); he appears in bathtub, then naked as he puts on a robe (his bottom/back is shown briefly); office workers discuss sexual desire; reference to blow job.

  • language false3

    Language: A couple of "f--k"s (in subtitles), plus other mild profanity ("merde," "a--hole") and jokey/disparaging use of "fags."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some cigarette smoking and some social drinking.

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