4 user 59 critic

Sweet Dreams (2016)

Fai bei sogni (original title)
1:56 | Trailer
Massimo's idyllic childhood is shattered by the death of his mother. Years later, he is forced to relive his traumatic past and compassionate doctor Elisa could help him open up and confront his childhood wounds.


Marco Bellocchio


Massimo Gramellini (novel), Edoardo Albinati (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
5 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Valerio Mastandrea ... Massimo
Bérénice Bejo ... Elisa
Guido Caprino ... Padre di Massimo
Nicolò Cabras Nicolò Cabras ... Massimo bambino
Dario Dal Pero Dario Dal Pero ... Massimo adolescente
Barbara Ronchi ... Madre di Massimo
Miriam Leone Miriam Leone ... Agnese
Pier Giorgio Bellocchio ... Desperado
Monica Piseddu Monica Piseddu
Arianna Scommegna Arianna Scommegna ... Massimo's godmother / aunt
Bruno Torrisi Bruno Torrisi ... Godmother's husband
Manuela Mandracchia Manuela Mandracchia ... zia di Elisa
Giulio Brogi ... Cavalieri
Roberto De Francesco Roberto De Francesco ... Padre Baloo
Dylan Ferrario Dylan Ferrario ... Enrico


Always inseparable with his beloved and joyful young mother, 9-year-old Massimo, now has to endure the tremendous blow from her death and the insufferable burden of accepting his loss. But no, this can't be true, his mother could not have died of a sudden heart attack, moreover, she simply cannot be his guardian angel from heaven, because Massimo, strongly believes that his vital mother is very much alive, temporarily residing in the United States. As the years pass by, profoundly traumatised little Massimo still refusing to accept the tragic event, he will silently continue carrying grief's heavy load on his shoulders, growing up to become a distant and detached journalist who chose to shut down his emotions, not out of revenge, but in order to survive. However, inevitably, after the death of his father, Massimo will need to confront his past in the very source of his persisting anguish, his house, react to the pain, refuse to be a victim, and ultimately, face courageously a ... Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Did You Know?


Freely based on the autobiographical novel by the same title by Italian writer and journalist Massimo Gramellini. In Italy it was the bestselling book of 2012 written by an Italian author, remaining in the Top 10 for over 50 weeks. See more »


Massimo bambino: Dearest Mum, I implore you, please don't leave me, have mercy, may light shine on you always, all your life close to me. Stay with me, I implore you, don't leave me, don't leave me. Stay with me, I implore you...
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Features Nosferatu (1922) See more »

User Reviews

A late masterpiece from Bellocchio
20 October 2019 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

Perhaps only a director who has lived as long as Marco Bellocchio could tackle the subjects of death and grief with the degree of empathy that's shown here. A young boy, Massimo, is devastated by the sudden death of his mother; years later, as a man, he must try to come to terms with his grief. "Sweet Dreams" is, indeed, an old man's film; there is a lifetime of observation and affection on view. This isn't the kind of film the enfant terrible that Bellocchio once was might have made but a slow, measured, grown-up and deeply moving view of childhood and what lies beyond and as the very young Massimo, Nicolo Cabras is quite extraordinary, (as the adult Massimo, Valerio Mastandrea is also outstanding in what really is a superb ensemble). It's also a decidedly old-fashioned film; there is nothing ostentatious about it. It is a film full of memories but they aren't handled in the tricksy fashion of so many younger directors. Indeed, this is the equal of anything in the director's canon and if we are speaking of late masterpieces this is certainly one. It really shouldn't be missed.

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Official Sites:

article | Official site [Japan] | See more »


Italy | France


Italian | French

Release Date:

10 November 2016 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Dulces sueños See more »


Box Office


EUR5,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (as Dolby 5.1)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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