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When I first saw this on TV, it struck me as somewhat sadistic and I quit watching after about an hour. But something piqued my interest and I actually bought the DVD to watch it again. And again. And again. I loved it - even though there were repellent aspects to it, and ultimately I don't think it succeeded in describing or explaining the events of May, '68. The political events became like a curtain backdrop to the primary event which was the relationship of the three people. I'm not sure that focusing on these three was the best way to showcase the events going on France at that time. I just saw Oliver Stone's World Trade Center and he uses the same conceit- focusing on the lives of two people caught up in the disaster. It didn't work for me in that film at all. Be that as it all may- what I did like is the acting (very courageous on everyone's part) and the direction by Bertolucci was superb. As a heterosexual female, Micheal Pitt really does it for me, but I have to say I admire Eva Green for taking this role. Bertolucci is such a master, every frame so beautifully staged and shot. The sex scenes were incredible.
Beautiful Paris. Beautiful Eva Green. Beautiful Michael Pitt. Beautiful
naked Eva Green and Michael Pitt. Sound promising? Unfortunately, the
"reality" of The "Dreamers" is a letdown.
Against the backdrop of 1968 Parisian revolution, American student Matthew (Michael Pitt) meets French twins Isabelle (Eva Green) and Theo (Louis Garrel). The 3 share a passion for film and intellectual discussion and soon Matthew is staying with the twins in their parents' apartment. Insulated from the "reality" of the streets the twins "dream" away the days drinking wine, discussing film and playing mind games with each other and with Matthew.
The film in inter-cut with scenes from classic films such as Freaks and Breathless just to name a few. These scenes were fun and worked well. The best scene in the film is when the main characters recreate a dash through the Louvre from A Band Apart.
Interesting but perplexing is the sexual politics at play between the three. The intimate relationship between the twins is supposed to be shocking but is merely curious. An attraction between the boys goes nowhere and when Matthew and Isabelle get down and dirty on the kitchen floor it isn't really sexy at all.
This is very obviously a European film and I mean that in the worst possible way. The characters are lifeless, naive and arrogant. Only Matthew seems to recognize the pretension. He is meant to be the voice of reason and even though he seems a bit dense he comes off all wise and worldly in comparison to the twins.
The last half hour or so of the film is the weakest part and doesn't seem to fit with the tone of what went on before.
I tried to like The Dreamers. I almost feel guilty for not liking it more. If it didn't try so hard to be saying something about youth, sex and revolution then it wouldn't have failed so miserably.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A touching, subtle, charming film about love, revolt and cinephilia,
about hate, competition and love.
A combination between poetry and sensuousness, game and experiment, mark of a mature art of a great film director. "The Dreamers" is a inside travel in memories taste, in cinema loves, in a powerful world of infinite possibilities.
In Paris of 1968, among rumors of ideals and rebel spirit of streets, three young people experiments a other reality's form, mixture of discoveries and infatuation, beliefs and probings. The result- a strange, thrilling relationship.
The ring Matthew- Theo- Isabelle is not new like image of young space ("Les enfants terrible" by Jean Cocteau was brilliant precedent) and an American at Paris is a very old recipe. Ambigous relation brother-sister, le menage en trois, freedom by a villa or exotic Robin Crusoes are very many. So, what is the value of this movie?
First, the charm of cinema quotes.
Then, the vanes juveniles dilemmas of characters.
In final, the delicate beauty of bodies, gestures and ideals (Michael Pitt like new Antinous).
In this film, the art of Bertolucci is couches manifested in plenary mode. It is a stile's victory and a slice of high refinement.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The ad for "The Dreamers" suggests that two very sexy boys are going to hit
the sheets. Forget it. Not on your life. "The Dreamers" is unquestionably
homoerotic, but it is not, strictly speaking, a "gay" film.
Okay, the movie offers lots of eye candy. The camera lovingly caresses the male co-stars' full, sensual lips and frequently bare behinds, and leaves us begging for more. But if you expect them to get it on with each other, you'll end up extremely disappointed.
Yet I think Bertolucci's latest work ultimately conveys a very gay-positive message. For that reason, it's worth a look-see. Let me explain.
Matthew (Michael Pitt) is a young American spending a year in Paris -- 1968 to be exact. His university studies save him from being drafted to fight in Vietnam. In any case, that would run contrary to his principle of non-violence. As they used to say back then, he wants to "make love, not war". He becomes friends with Isabelle (Eva Green) and her twin brother Theo (Louis Garrell). Matthew becomes Isabelle's lover but clearly also has the hots for Theo. Alas, his desire is doomed to remain unfulfilled. Theo talks a good line about freedom from his parents' values and the dictatorship of France's political system. But he is utterly incapable of taking his philosophy of sexual liberation to its logical conclusion.
In a very real sense, as the title suggests, Theo and Isabelle are dreamers. They very naively believe they are free and independent of their family and society. But Bertolucci shows us this is far from the truth. Theo and Isabelle are children who never grew up. They rely on their parents' generosity to keep body and soul together. They are even absolutely dependent on each other. Isabelle has never been on a date with a boy, and Theo has never been intimate with a woman, not even his sister.
Only Matthew is able to break the vicious cycle, to grow up and become a man, to be the person he dreams of being. He achieves a freedom that remains beyond the reach of straight men like Theo, who remain trapped in sexual stereotypes dictated by a male-dominated society.
"The Dreamers" appears to suggest that, by accepting themselves as they are and freely expressing their desire, gays become mature and independent human beings.
In so doing, "The Dreamers" echoes Bertolucci's 1970 masterpiece, "The Conformist". In that earlier work, Marcello (Jean-Louis Trintignant) represses the memory of a gay experience as a teen, and his feeling of being "abnormal", by trying to be like everyone else. At the end of the film, however, Marcello learns that Lino, his abuser, whom he thought he had killed, is alive and trying to pick up another young boy. Marcello gets rid of Lino and has sex with the boy himself. Marcello thus accepts himself as gay. He is no longer a traumatized teen, but a grown man, free to choose how he wishes to live.
Marcello (in "The Conformist") becomes what Matthew (in "The Dreamers") wishes to be, and Theo never can. Matthew dreams of fully experiencing and expressing his desire. Theo lacks the courage to live his dreams.
The slogan shouted by French protesters in May 1968 holds true for Matthew, as it does for gays in our own era: "We've only just begun. The fight goes on."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you're bisexual or gay and you don't want to be, this anthem of unashamed nudity is the film for you.
It is of high interest to me at least that in a world where individuality is praised over all else that such conformist filmmaking still exists to the extremes seen in "The Dreamers," especially for such an art house piece. One cannot discount Bertolucci as a filmmaker, his craft is superb and his technique unsurpassed, but his sexual politics are highly questionable.
This is probably the closest I have ever seen a film teeter-totter on the edge of having real bisexual characters, yet carefully making sure to never cross into that "dangerous" and "forbidden" territory. One could say the same about its incestuous brother / sister couple, for he never "entered" her, so technically they didn't really have a sexual relationship, so by this logic they basically weren't really a couple. And Michael Pitt never really did anything with Louis Garrel so basically they were both straight, except that they liked to be naked a lot and take baths with each other, against the "hot" backdrop of the '68 Paris riots. What kind of message is this film sending? That it is okay to lie naked and so intimately close to other members of the same sex just as long as you don't touch them in any way that might be considered sexual? Or that one would go too far by having a brother and sister make out or worse make love on screen? But implying that they do, except actually they don't, is okay instead?
This is very confused filmmaking when dealing with sexual politics and it sends mixed signals; a kind of very strange, conservative, and conformist message to the art house scene. My opinion: if you're going to make a film about a boy that falls in love with a girl and a boy, whether they are brother and sister or not, then make that film. Don't make a film pretending to be a film about a boy that falls in love with a girl and a boy but only makes out with the girl. This is a highly pretentious and cold way of treating a potentially beautiful concept.
Interestingly, the way the sexuality of the three-way relationship was treated mirrors the way the Paris riots where treated, they were utterly glossed over and unreal, they felt like an overtone to a movie about a hopelessly romantic yet sexually mature heterosexual American boy falling in love with a confused little French girl who just happens to live with her weird heterosexual Siamese twin brother. And they all love to sleep naked next to each other. It is unbelievable how a film about love, sex, and the beauty of openness can be so utterly cruel, closed-minded, and conservative. If you like your sex and history the way you like your toast, buttered on one side only, then enjoy this bitter piece of celluloid chocolate.
When Bernardo Bertolucci makes a new film, I want to see it. I know it
will be visually beautiful, deep and meaningful. Even when he is not
completely successful his films are difficult to forget. It applies
to "The Dreamers" (2003)
In this film, Bertolucci returns to Paris of 1968. His First Tango is as shocking as Last one it received NC-17 rating for very open scenes of nudity, masturbation, sex, and the hints to incest. But it is not just about sex it is about film itself. It was the time when Pauline Kael said, "Bertolucci and Brando have altered the face of an art form". It was the time when a crowd in Chicago would line up under umbrellas on the sidewalk, waiting in the rain to get into the next screening of Godard's "Weekend." It was the time when movie makers became the Artists. It was the time when closing down of the famous Cinematheque Francais in Paris by the government started the student culture riots which became the part of youthful rebellion all over the Western World.
Young American, Mathew, a devoted movie buff (Michael Pitt who by the opinion of several reviewers looks like cross between Leo DiCaprio and Macaulay Culkin. I found him looking more like young Roger Ebert would've. ) becomes friends with two French students and fellow movie lovers, twins Isabella (Eva Green, in a star making debut) and Theo (Louis Garrel) and accepts their invitation to stay with them at their apartment while their intellectual parents are away for vacation.
All three are big fans of movies they not only talk about movies, they live their favorite scenes. "The Dreamers" is Bertolucci's love letter to cinema, and his irony toward people taking it so seriously that the real world is ignored.
When Matthew moves in with the twins, the result closely resembles "Last Tango in Paris". Much of the film's second half occurs in that apartment, as insular as Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider's more than thirty years ago. Flirting becomes passion becomes dark and dangerous games to see how far someone will go. The difference is that the kids of "The Dreamers" are not as complicated and interesting as Paul or Jeanne (especially Paul, one of the greatest performances by genius Brando).
With this wistful ode to sex, cinema, and the heated atmosphere of the '60s, Bertolucci has proved that he is still on the top of his game. I will be happily waiting for his next film.
The Dreamers, a name to signify that the dreams are different from
reality. Agreed well and also that this movie is cohesive cozy and
captive film making (for....). But I wonder the need.
The movie is a complete alternative of p*rn but still the director has descended it in the mainstream cinema. Well and good for the crew. Now many prestigious critics and portals praised the film for its great cinematic and directorial technicality, which anyone can do if he understand the technicality. But the thought that captures me is what was the point of making something different.
Whenever one wishes to say 'hello' he will usually wave his hand or shake but what if he says 'hello' with one hand over 'his @' and other hand making a puppet face of any animal like a Deer. The thing is why wasn't some other alternative script chosen as a theme for the actual moral. This film depicts extremely filthy sections of a dirty mind which I think has lost its creativity. Whenever something different is to be done, being a responsible artist, it should be done in such a way that it can elevate the mental virtues and ideas of the viewer rather than just hypnotizing him in fantasy of life and logics too.
Can't judge the film myself, didn't appreciate the movie at all, but just wonder. This film is a or may be a fine example that how Wasted(Demon) things can have Useful(Blinding) effect on the Brain(an Artificial Stuff) which can justify anything which it enjoys.
And, trust me, it was nothing like this! Sure, I would have dreamed to have met(and more!) someone like Isabelle when i was 20. This movie is pure garbage and anyone who thinks to the contrary ought to get a reality check. It has 3 beautiful young actors who have nothing better to do than have sex, sleep and drink very expensive wine. Nice. Those of us who were actually teenagers in the 60s do not have this experience at all. It is fantasy. Don't get me wrong: If the purpose of this artsy film was to titillate and show off the gorgeous, voluptuous bodies of these 3 young persons, then it succeeded in every measure. But all three of them (as portrayed in the movie) are self-obsessed, self-centred, rude, spoiled rotten kids. Parents were total idiots too. Thank goodness, the 60s were not dominated by these amoral teenagers; otherwise we may not have succeeded as a Western Society into the new millennium. Take this movie for what it is: nice camera-work, good Parisian scenery and 3 gorgeous nude teenagers screwing like rabbits. If you are reading more into it than that, then you are a true idiot. It is artsy pornography. Nothing more.
It's really fascinating to see that this kind of movies are possible -
we just follow the three "dreamers" around, there's no actual
storyline, there's no heroes and villains, there's no drama or car
chases or whatever, and yet i never felt bored. On the contrary - i
felt more immersed and thrilled than almost ever. Thank you senor
This film has everything it takes to grab me immediately and make me watch it numerous times afterwords. There's Paris amidst my favorite time in history - the late 60's (the time for Change). The actors are really great too, especially Michael Pitt and even above him Eva Green. The numerous homages to the great classics, I find the "Bande a part" segment to be the best. The cinematography is very atmospheric and really right in its mood. And the thing that thrills me the most is the representation of sex, it's sincerity and the way it's photographed and orchestrated.
I don't know if it's offensive or not. I don't find it dirty or distasteful. Actually the relationship between the three lead characters seems really natural and pure, even though two of them are brother and sister. When sex finally happen, it seems as the most logical thing. Eva Green is gorgeous as Isabelle. Sometimes she looks very sweet and vulnerable and sometimes she is very cocky and self-confident. I find her Isabelle the richest of the characters and the most realistic one. I like Michael Pitt too, but Louis Garrel is not on the same level or at least i find him not really likable(not only his character in the film). As a whole it's really a non-conformist relationship between the three of them. I mean it's free of any constrains and role-playing and the whole men-women usual relationship pattern. Free Love - The Spirit of the 60's.
For those who are easily insulted by nudity - avoid this film. Personally i find it kind of refreshing. Not that i'm dying for it, but i really don't understand why is that in mainstream cinema male nudity is really a rare case. I was quite shocked when a saw Michael Pitt's penis but afterwords i asked myself why is that. After all it's a perfectly normal thing. That's what i meant when i said that sex is presented really sincerely. There was no "Nine and a half Weeks" kind of crap. Just perfectly normal sex. And it helped. It felt refreshing and liberating. You can't say it's like "in the movies".
As a whole the film also felt really liberating. You should watch it with an open mind. But if you are one of those conservative and narrow-minded viewers who would see it only to be able to criticize it later, don't bother.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am watching The Dreamers as i write this. I'm nearly deaf so have rigged up an in ear monitor type device so I can listen at top volume. It's amazing, the difference it makes being able to hear each syllable as it's spoken as clear as a thought in your own head. With this in mind I found the dialogue a little pretentious. Also I found it easy to predict a lot of the dialogue which is something I dislike about a lot of films. The nudity shocked me. Not because I'm repressed or 'innocent' but because it's steps over boundaries as if they were pieces of gum on the pavement. It happens! BAM! An erection right there, so close you can nearly smell it! This didn't bother me as such, in fact I admired the actors for their courage and passion for their art to perform so outwardly. So far (over an hour in...probably more) I like it a lot. These are my opinions. I am not a critic. You can probably tell this fact from reading this drivel. In fact I dislike critics with a passion. Watch the film. I liked it, and i'm great!
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