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The Dreamlife of Angels (1998)

La vie rêvée des anges (original title)
In Lille, two penniless young women with few prospects become friends. Isa moves in with Marie, who's flat-sitting for a mother and child in hospital in comas following a car crash. Isa is ... See full summary »

Director:

Erick Zonca
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16 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Élodie Bouchez ... Isabelle 'Isa' Tostin
Natacha Régnier ... Marie Thomas
Grégoire Colin ... Chriss
Patrick Mercado Patrick Mercado ... Charly
Jo Prestia ... Fredo
Francine Massenhave Francine Massenhave ... La gardienne
Zivko Niklevski Zivko Niklevski ... Le patron Yougoslave
Murielle Colvez Murielle Colvez ... Le chef d'atelier
Lyazid Ouelhadj Lyazid Ouelhadj ... Le vendeur de billets
Frédérique Hazard Frédérique Hazard ... La mère de Marie
Jean-Michel Lemayeux Jean-Michel Lemayeux ... L'interne
Louise Motte Louise Motte ... Sandrine Val
Rosa Maria Rosa Maria ... La première infirmière
Corinne Masiero Corinne Masiero ... La femme du Hollywood
Xavier Denamur Xavier Denamur ... L'homme des patins
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Storyline

In Lille, two penniless young women with few prospects become friends. Isa moves in with Marie, who's flat-sitting for a mother and child in hospital in comas following a car crash. Isa is out-going, unskilled, with hopes of moving south to warmer climes. Marie usually is either angry or detached. Then, while Isa begins to visit the child in whose flat they live, going to hospital to read to her, Marie slowly falls for a rich youth. At first Marie keeps him at bay, then she not only pursues him, she begins to dream he is her life's love. When Isa tries to warn Marie, their friendship flounders. How will Marie handle the inevitable? And once they lose the flat, where will they go? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

16 September 1998 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Daydreams of Angels See more »

Filming Locations:

Evéché, Lille, Nord, France See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$59,333, 4 April 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,726,187, 1 August 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a May 2006 article for the medical journal Neurology, Dr. Eelco Wijdicks concluded that this was one of only two films to accurately depict the state of a comatose patient and the agony of those waiting for the patient to awake. The other film was Reversal of Fortune (1990). See more »

Quotes

Isa: I'd like to see you when you realize that you need other people.
Marie Thomas: I'll send you a photo.
See more »


Soundtracks

Rue des Cascades
(film version)
Written by Yann Tiersen
Performed by Claire Pichet
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Poignant tale of two young women with diametrical viewpoint to life -- terrific performances!
17 September 1999 | by Ruby Liang (ruby_fff)See all my reviews

Writer-director Erick Zonca's debut film certainly is a bold attempt with no apology to the subjects at hand. He succeeded in delivering the many facets of living and loving -- essentially surviving life's difficulties and juxtaposing how one, with persistence, can come through it all vs. the flip side of a helpless condition -- a suicidal person in one's own entrapment.

Isa is the embodiment of tenacity and hope eternal, while Marie is depressive non self-loving personified. Isa's goal in life is to appreciate living, however modest, and her willingness to help others, to share a little happiness keeps her going in spite of all odds. Marie, on the other hand, is the extreme opposite: she has no love for anything or anyone -- she hates herself, her mother, her family, her life -- her low self-esteem alienated herself and the people around her who really care for her. A delusional cocoon she's wrapped herself in, and when it breaks, it crumbles to a point of no return. It's depressing to see her development, or rather, non-development, while it's uplifting to see Isa balancing the harsh realities of life.

Due credits to the two main leading ladies, Elodie Bouchez as Isa and Natacha Regnier as Marie. Bouchez really shines: her smile, her candidness, her enthusiasm in living exudes on her face! Self-esteem is an important element and that is what character Marie very much is lacking. Emotionally unbalanced with violent reactions, she does not know what to do with herself or what she wants -- aimlessly she seeks for affection mistaken as lovingness; she's numb and unreachable. She took Isa's friendship for granted while Isa tries her utmost to 'save' Marie from falling into a helpless self-pitiful state.

Miracles do happen. Tenacity does reward. Tragedy is by fate destined. Marie asked, "what if the other person refuses," and Isa said, "you move on". We are fortunate to be able to learn with Isa, smile and laugh with her, explore and read the diary book, visit Sandrine at the hospital, talk to Sandrine, touch her, and hope and pray with her. There is strength in Isa's brilliant smiling face -- gentleness and human spirit she truly stands for. She is an angel, a godsend!

This is NFE (not for everyone): there are explicit intimate scenes and the behavior displayed by character Marie is not encouraged, thus mature audience consumption only. It's in French. Pacing is relatively tight compared to most French films.

Anne Fontaine's "Dry Cleaning" is another French film subtly interweaved the depiction of a young man who has depressive suicidal bent without being evident. It describes a couple, Miou-Miou's character Nicole, a discontented wife married 15 years to a Dry Cleaning business owner, Jean-Marie (portrayed by Charles Berling), leading a rather uneventful life in this small suburban town, when one day, Loic the young man (sensitively portrayed by Stanislas Merhar) entered their lives, home and stirred emotional havoc. Good performances in spite of the lull steady pace. For mature and patient audience. Another NFE.


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