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Review: The Dreamers (2003)

The Dreamers (2003) 

Directed by: Bernardo Bertolucci

Premise: Coming of age story of three teens living in Paris in 1968 as student riots take place around them. The three meet and develop a close bond around their love of black and white films.

What Works: This is a very erotic film and the sexual tension of the picture is at some points tender and at other times frightening. Matthew (Michael Pitt) is an American lost in Paris and in life. As an outsider, he brings the audience into the dream world that Isabelle (Eva Green) and Theo (Louis Garrel) wallow in. The three of them spend their days postulating theoretical ideas about politics and art, but never act on them even as a revolution is brewing right outside of their house.

What Doesn’t: Enjoyment of the film is helped immensely if you have an understanding of cinema, especially early cinema. Otherwise, some of the references are likely to cast over the viewers head.

DVD extras: NC-17 and R-rated versions, commentary tracks, featurettes, a music video, trailers.

Bottom Line: On one level The Dreamers is an art film about art films and the people who enjoy them. It is also a film about the ivory tower and the results of locking one’s self in it for too long. Recommended but with a word of warning to those who are sensitive to sexual content (even in the R-rated cut).

Episode: #11 (July 25, 2004)