The Fantasy Life of Stéphane Miroux
After his father dies, StÃ©phane Miroux (Gael GarcÃa Bernal) reluctantly agrees to return to Paris in order to be near for his widowed mother who has arranged for him to work as a type setter for a business which makes calendars. Well the job turns out to be just gluing things down in the basement of a building which is tedious and rewarding. Meanwhile StÃ©phane meets and falls for his neighbour StÃ©phanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who creates sculptures out of cotton wool. With things not going great for StÃ©phane he escapes more and more often in to a dream world but with the line between reality and fantasy quickly becoming blurred.
I am going to come across like a complete hypocrite because I have frequently bemoaned movies which use CGI to create a visual experience lacking in story but it is because "The Science of Sleep" is so visually captivating that you can't take your eyes off of it despite having a wishy washy story lacking in importance. That story is simply that of a young man blurring the lines between his dream word and reality leading to a lot of quirky experiences.
It is those quirky experiences which make "The Science of Sleep" as we get to see StÃ©phane's dream world from the cardboard studio where he imagines himself a whacky inventor to throwing cotton wool up in the air and it becomes clouds. And it is a visual treat because it is so creative from bath scenes involving layers of plastic wrap to origami buildings swaying back and forth through a window.
Now it is the visual creativity which makes the movie but it is also Gael GarcÃa Bernal who comes across as likeable but youthfully eccentric which in turn adds to his characters likeability. He manages to give the character so many attributes as in one scene he may seem paranoid but then when we enter his dream and the cardboard studio and he enters presenter mode. It is a fantastic performance which gives the movie so much energy.
What this all boils down to is that "The Science of Sleep" is a fabulously creative experience which will put a huge smile on your face when you enter the dreams and fantasies of StÃ©phane Miroux. In fact it is so creative that you won't care that the storyline doesn't have much going on because you will just enjoy the visual experience.