After she's been attacked in her apartment, Cathy starts reliving the event in her dreams. She seeks help at a sleep disorder research center, but in doing so she encounters some unexpected...
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The two brothers Treat and Philip lived alone since they were kids. Interdependent they dwell in a loft house and live on little thefts, until an aging minor criminal moves in with them and takes over the role of a father.
Alan J. Pakula
American Walter Elbertson, in his late teens, is feeling lost within his family of overachievers. Thirty-something Englishwoman Lila Fisher is emotionally repressed. The two meet on their ... See full summary »
Alan J. Pakula
Don Jaime de Mora y Aragón
Three years after his divorce from his model-wife is the psychologist Larry Livingstone ready for a new commitment. He falls in love with the young widow Beth who has two children. But Beth... See full summary »
Ella Connors is a single woman who gets pressured to sell her failing cattle farm to her corrupt ex suitor, Jacob Ewing. She asks for help from her neighbor, Frank Athearn. As Ella and ... See full summary »
Two students from neighboring colleges in upstate New York are swept up in a tragic romantic interlude calling for a maturity of vision beyond their experience of capabilities. Pookie Adams... See full summary »
Alan J. Pakula
After she's been attacked in her apartment, Cathy starts reliving the event in her dreams. She seeks help at a sleep disorder research center, but in doing so she encounters some unexpected results ...Written by
Homme A. Piest <email@example.com>
Not good enough to be a dream, not bad enough to be a snore
The involvement of lead actress Kristy McNicohl, director Alan J. Pakula and cinematographer Sven Nykvist (best known for his regular work with Ingmar Bergman), as well as a fascinating premise, were four good reasons to see 'Dream Lover'.
Really hate to see one of the dissenting voices here but 'Dream Lover' didn't do it for me. Can see why it was panned by critics because to me there were some big problems, while not finding it anywhere as dreadful as reputed (certainly do not agree that 'Dream Lover' didn't have redeeming values). 'Dream Lover' was just a film that could have executed a good idea much better. It had all the makings of a thought-provoking and creepy film, but both of these only came in spurts rather than an overall whole.
'Dream Lover's' best asset is Nykvist's cinematography, frighteningly surreal and beautifully dreamy 'Dream Lover' looks striking in this regard. The sets and lighting are similarly atmospheric. Some sequences actually are pretty unsettling and have suspense and creepiness.
The cast are also a strength and do their best with the wanting material with professional. McNichol is in an atypically darker role to usual and gives plenty of intensity and vulnerability, it's a great lead performance in a challenging and different role for her. Plus she looks sensational. Paul Shenar, who if he made better career choices and hadn't died so young just three years later would have made it bigger, plays one of the creepiest domineering father figures personally seen in any film recently. His chemistry with McNichol has moments of pathos and chills.
Ben Masters is charming and Justin Deas makes the most of a role that isn't developed enough. There are a few thought-provoking moments.
On the other hand, the story and pacing spoil 'Dream Lover'. Some of the pace is leaden and like riding on the back of a lethargic snail. In terms of atmosphere, there is a lack of tension and suspense in general and too often is too sterile. The story is dull with parts that feel like overlong and irrelevant padding and not always easy to follow (downright confusing even in some places), while the ending is anti-climactic and preposterous.
Pakula's direction is uninspired at best and somnambulist at worst, don't think he was that interested in the film or knew what to do with it. While the production values are generally good some of the editing is amateurish, especially the shocking gaffes in day/night scenes.
Rest of the cast struggle to do anything with sketchily written plot device characters (true of the characters here in general) and weak dialogue. The script has thoughtful moments but generally is flabby and gets bogged down by too much confused and rambling psychobabble and overkill histrionics. The music score is forgettable and doesn't really gel with the atmosphere of the film.
On the whole, not that bad but to me it was far from a dream. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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