Based on a bedtime story written by a 10-year-old, Michel Gondry’s wondrous romantic fantasy is a surrealist’s delight and a love letter to the infinite possibilities of cinema. Gael García Bernal plays Stéphane, a charmingly and sometimes alarmingly awkward young man who arrives in Paris from Mexico following the death of his father. There, he strikes up a flirtation with the girl across the hall (Charlotte Gainsbourg)—but things go off-the-walls awry when Stéphane’s dreams begin to intrude on his reality. Gondry unleashes a grab bag of eye-popping cinematic tricks—ingeniously handmade puppet creations, stop-motion flights of fancy, and gizmos like a one-second time machine—to evoke the crazy-quilt logic of the unconscious.
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