The world of director Michel Gondry is made of cotton clouds, stop-motion fur ponies, and blinking Rube Goldbergian inventions, said Desson Thomson in The Washington Post. The Science of Sleep, a film that 'œnever intends to be deeper than a magician's hat,' may just be an excuse for Gondry to tinker with his favorite toys, but the hallucinatory landscape is a pleasure to watch. The child-like StÃ©phane (Gael GarcÃa Bernal) works as a calendar designer, but his real life takes place in his dreams, in which he swims over rooftops and fights enemies with enormous rubber hands. As he falls in love with his neighbor, StÃ©phanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), his sleeping and waking lives become confounded, until neither he nor the audience can tell what is real anymore. This movie about dreams, memory, and relationships bears an obvious resemblance to Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, said Carina Chocano in the Los Angeles Times. Writer Charlie Kaufman scored most of the praise for that film, so perhaps Gondry wants us to know that his creativity can drive its own project. Unlike Eternal Sunshine, Science 'œdoesn't have anyplace in particular to go, and it takes its time not getting there,' with a plot that travels forward, backward, and sideways. It's a pity that with all its sweetness and naÃ¯vetÃ©, the movie 'œremains painfully immature to the end,' said Darrell Hartman in The New York Sun. Charm, in romance and film, can only get you halfway there.
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