In the late nineties, Ruiz made some of the highest-profile, most widely distributed and accessible movies of his career. Then, by the end of the decade, as though driven to purge something, he returned to wilder, less organized territory. The result was this confounding, deliriously diffuse collage of nine stories, all but one set in the 17th or 18th centuries. Les Inrockuptibles wasn’t wrong to call Love Torn in a Dream “a kind of self-parodying best-of” drawn from Ruiz’s previous films: the overlapping stories involve debates over religious dogma, a film crew making landfall in Portugal, marauding pirates, and talismanic mirrors and paintings. “Ruiz wins you over better when he works with fewer ideas and brings them to term,” Les Inrocks went on. But Ruiz always seized on more ideas than his movies could hold, letting some ripen and abandoning others halfway, and this movie shows him working at his freest and most exuberant.