Welcome to A-Z Movie Reviews. Every Sunday, for the next several months, I will be posting a review of a film in my home movie collection. How it works is, I will be reviewing movies in alphabetical order until I get to the letter Z (Yes, I do have a film that ends in Z). Now I realize there are many ways to alphabetize a film collection, but this is mine so don’t judge me. This is simply for fun.
I watch a lot of indie films and I have my oldest brother to thank for that. For this installment of A-Z Movie Reviews, I’m talking about The Dreamers directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. There’s no interesting backstory this time, because at the time that I watched the film, I was unfamiliar with Eva Green and Louis Garrel.
I guess the only thing I can really say is that I had a thing for Michael Pitt who I was familiar with. The first film I saw him in was Murder By Numbers and for some reason he somewhat reminded me of Leonardo DiCaprio. There was just something about him that I really liked and from then on, I was a fan.
What it’s about:
In May 1968, the student riots in Paris only exacerbate the isolation felt by three youths: an American exchange student named Matthew (Michael Pitt) and twins Théo (Louis Garrel) and Isabelle (Eva Green). Having bonded over their mutual love of cinema, Matthew is fascinated by the sense of intimacy shared by Isabelle and Theo, who were born conjoined. When the twins’ bohemian parents go away for a month, they ask Matthew to stay at their place, and the three lose themselves in fantasy.
It’s been a very long time since I watched this film and this time, I watched it with a different set of eyes. When Matthew initially meets Isabelle and Théo, he is very shy but so excited to make some French friends especially ones that love the cinema as much as he does. When they invite him to stay with them for a month after only knowing each other for two days, naturally he is a bit hesitant, but the twins are very persuasive, and he accepts. The twins are free spirits and it draws Matthew in because he wants to be part of their world.
All three of them are having fun bonding and getting to know each other despite what is happening on the outside world.
The student riots are going on but because all three of them are basically living in a bubble, they don’t even see it. The interesting thing about this film is that, although Matthew, Isabelle, and Théo are not outside experiencing the chaos, they are still dealing with their own version inside of the apartment.
Isabelle and Théo are twins who were born conjoined but were separated. They have a codependent relationship that is very unhealthy, and Matthew begins to see that. Often, all three play trivia games based on the films they know and love. The games start off simple enough, but Matthew begins to see a side of Isabelle and Théo that makes him uncomfortable.
He plays along because they make him feel like he is part of them but, as time goes on, he begins to mature more while Isabelle and Théo seem to remain stuck in a state of immaturity. Matthew tries to help Isabelle and Théo find their own identities, but it doesn’t really work out well. Try as he might, their twin bond is unbreakable, and he realizes that the two siblings will never leave each other and in the end they all part ways.
The Dreamers is an intense film but it’s also beautifully sad and complex.
- I love the juxtaposition of the modern day scenes mixed with the classic films.
- I love film trivia but I don’t think I would play with the twins based on what the forfeit is.
- I couldn’t help thinking of After We Collided and Hardin saying “Don’t say too” when Tessa says “I love you too” as I watched Matthew tell Théo “I don’t want you to say you love me too, I want you to say you love me.”
- I forgot how much I loved Louis Garrel in this film. He was so handsome and so French and now I want to go through his IMDb and find and watch all of his older films.
- Isabelle and Théo have some very calm parents because if I came home and saw my place as trashed as the kids had left it, I would probably freak out.