The Dreamers

UK release date: Sep 8 2009

cast list

Michael Pitt
Eva Green
Louis Garrel
Anna Chancellor

directed by
Bernardo Bertolucci

The Dreamers has very clear aspirations. Its tale of incest, sexual awakening and revolution yearns to be a controversial and cultish film, adored by film students. Yet its shallow nature and derivative nature means it fails to reach its ideal.

Set in 1968, with the background of the Paris student riots, the story centres on Matthew, played by Michael Pitt. He is a young American student and film lover who develops a friendship with a French brother and sister who similarly love films. Their bizarre relationship at first repulses Matthew but he soon gets caught up in their lifestyle. In one summer Matthew experiences an awakening he will never forget.

The plot really is this flimsy. Anyone looking for substance or something resembling emotional depth will feel short-changed. Directed by famed Last Tango In Paris helmer Bernado Bertolucci, the film does have some nice visual touches. The three characters often act as if they are re-enacting scenes from their favourite films and the film cleverly intercuts between fiction and reality. The scene in the Louvre copied from Bande Part is particularly successful. Yet this also often hints at just how unoriginal the film itself is.

Michael Pitt is engaging enough to begin with. His confusion at the seemingly incestuous brother-sister relationship is believable as the viewer can easily empathise. Yet his gradual conversion into their strange world is harder to believe. There are some bizarre scenes and his character becomes less and less easy to relate to. Eva Green plays the sister and is currently tipped for big things in Hollywood, with her role in Ridley Scott’s latest. It’s easy to see why – she’s an intriguing actress, and her character’s sudden bursts of guilt make her likeable.

The film is watchable and is never boring but is just too superficial to truly make much of an impact. The sex scenes are so desperately trying to court controversy they are largely embarrassing. In fact the controversy may be the sole reason many people see the film. Overall this is a mediocre art movie with a frustratingly inconclusive finale. Not completely forgettable but not exactly memorable either.

No related posts found...