Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Maksim Chmerkovskiy Will Return to 'Dancing With The St...
'The Good Wife' Cush Jumbo Tackles Comparisons...
'Class': 'Doctor Who' Spinoff Series Coming to BBC Thre...
'The Revenant' Trailer: Leonardo DiCaprio Seeks Revenge...
Will Trevor Noah Live Up To The Hype During Monday's 'D...
Watch Eddie Vedder, Beyonce Duet on Bob Marley's 'Redem...
'CSI' being laid to rest after 15 years ...
Big Brother Season 17 Finale Recap: Super Fan & Trombon...
Dancing With the Stars Recap: Bindi Irwin and Derek Hou...
Emmys 2015: Who should win Outstanding Lead Actor in a ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Fox Home Entertainment presents
The Dreamers (2004)

"You two are like two halves of the same person. Now you've made me feel like I'm a part of you."
- Matthew (Michael Pitt)

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: June 13, 2004

Stars: Michael Pitt, Eva Green
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci

Manufacturer: Digital Video Compression Center
MPAA Rating: NC-17 for explicit sexual content
Run Time: 01h:54m:52s
Release Date: July 13, 2004
UPC: 024543128083
Genre: drama

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

It's no mystery to divine that two of Bernardo Bertolucci's great passions are movies and sex, and his love for each animate The Dreamers. It achieved a certain amount of notoriety during its initial theatrical release, for being the first major studio picture in a good long while to go out with an NC-17 rating; but it feels like part of Bertolucci's world, it's very much a film in the same vein as Last Tango in Paris. Something about that city must make Bertolucci purr like a kitten, or think prurient thoughts; then again, perhaps that's endemic to his way of thinking, for if you remember his Oscar acceptance speech, he referred to Los Angeles as "The Big Nipple."

And The Dreamers is very much in that spirit—heartfelt and passionate, but occasionally a little embarrassing, a middle-aged reminiscence on what it was like back in the day, no doubt clouded by nostalgia. The story centers on Matthew, a college-aged American in the City of Light for that critical summer of 1968; he knows no one in town, and takes comfort and refuge in the legendary Cinématheque, the revival house screening anything and everything, ground zero for the film education of the directors and students of the nouvelle vague. The passion with which they all watch and talk about movies is a reminder of what a fleeting and precious commodity they were in the days before video—sure, TV would run some things, but the only place to go to school on Samuel Fuller or Nicholas Ray or Josef von Sternberg was at the movie theater, on celluloid. Matthew meets up with an intriguing set of twins, as transported by movies as he is: Isabelle has a dangerous gleam in her eye for Matthew, and Theo does too. Most of the picture is a triangle, then, playing out the various permutations in the relationships between brother and sister and their new American friend.

Isabelle and Theo invite Matthew to dinner, and what the American finds is his dream version of a French family: father is a poet, mother is charming, they all smoke and drink lots of red wine and discuss politics and philosophy. Good fortune strikes: the parents are on their way out of town for a month, and their children invite Matthew to move from his fleabag hotel into their rambling apartment. They become a tightly knit little triad, with great passion for film: the boys nearly come to blows as to who is better, Chaplin or Keaton; and they routinely restage scenes from their favorite movies, such as their dash through the Louvre, in imitation of Bande ą part. Isabelle and Theo take great pains to show off their sophistication; of course, this only points up just how juvenile they are. Bertolucci intercuts his actors with the movies of their characters' dreams, and it's artfully done, the films in their heads coming stunningly to life, for them and for us.

And so now let's talk about the nudity. Given the film's rating, even if you're caught up in the story, you'll probably start asking yourself: so just when are they gonna get nekkid? Well, they do, and frequently—Bertolucci's camera lingers especially sensually over the body of Eva Green, who plays Isabelle and is called upon to spend more time unclothed on camera than either of the boys. (Isn't that always the way?) Of course, if you're looking for porn, Bertolucci isn't the place to start; and he knows it, too. After their odd couplings—Theo clearly has a thing for Matthew, and things between the twins get very Secret History very quickly—Matthew takes Isabelle out on a proper date, her first; and in many respects the sexiest thing in the movie is not seeing Green or Michael Pitt, who plays Matthew, without their clothes on, but the two of them making out in a back row of a darkened movie theater, furtive, delighted with one another, in love.

It also makes you realize that, even after the hothouse scenes in the apartment, we don't know a whole lot about these characters. Matthew especially seems more a type than a person—California boy who isn't in school and isn't in Vietnam, but is in Paris principally to serve the story needs. He's also given a fair amount of banal voiceovers, which only further the idea that the filmmakers don't care much about him. But the passions between the young people, and of all of them for movies, is palpable, if not necessarily contagious; Bertolucci has made a film that seems rich and evocative of his own memories, but may not stir up some of your own.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The transfer has been elegantly done, with full rich colors and true skin tones; it's a valentine not only to Bertolucci's actors, but to Paris. A clean job, with little or no evident debris introduced in the port over to DVD.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Spanish, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Dynamic levels in the 5.1 track tend to be a little funky; you may find yourself fussing with the volume control, between Pitt's reedy narration, frequently overcranked source music, and the atmospherics of France. But it's generally pretty clear, with a minimal amount of hiss.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring Garden State
1 Documentaries
1 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Bernardo Bertolucci, Gilbert Adair, Jeremy Thomas
Packaging: Unknown
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. music video (see below)
Extras Review: Bertolucci is joined on the commentary track by Gilbert Adair, who wrote the screenplay and the novel on which it was based, and Jeremy Thomas, one of the film's producers. Their discussion is fairly rambling, with informative bits dropped in among typically pedestrian reminiscences. Adair describes his book as more homoerotic, and says that many have asked him why more of that didn't turn up in the feature. Bertolucci talks poetically yet also confusingly, especially about movies always and only being in the present tense. It's not required listening, but you'll find some nuggets here.

More informative are the two accompanying documentaries. The BBC produced the first, Bertolucci Makes The Dreamers (52m:24s), with lots of footage from the set, interviews with the cast and filmmakers, and a fair amount of material on the historical context, with clips from the Paris re-created here. Even more effective on this point, and in less time, is Outside the Window: Events in France, May 1968 (14m:25s), a day-by-day account of that tumultuous month, intercut with the filmmakers' own remembrances of the time. Shorter still and certainly not worth watching is Hey Joe (03m:41s), a music video directed by Bertolucci of a run-of-the-mill song used in the feature, poorly sung by Michael Pitt and the Twins of Evil.

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments

Bertolucci loves making movies about things you do in the dark, and his fascinations with cinema and sexual discovery inform every scene of The Dreamers. You have to admire the director's ambition, and the recklessness with which he breaks down barriers; even if his risky choices here don't always work, the film brims over with his passions, even if the MPAA disapproves.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, dancing with the stars, maksim chmerkovskiy, carrie ann inaba, bruno tonioli, julianne hough, the good wife, cush jumbo, archie panjabi, julianna margulies, bbc3, class, doctor who, buffy the vampire slayer, hunger games, steven moffat, brian minchin, movie, the revenant, leonardo dicaprio, tom hardy, alejandro g. inarritu, christmas day release, comedy channel, trevor noah, daily show, jon stewart, music, global citizen festival, pearl jam, byonce, ed sheeran, eddie vedder, cbs, csi, ted danson, elisabeth shue, elisabeth harnois, william petersen, marg helgenberger, big brother, abc, liz, steve, vanessa, julia chen, dr. will, bindi irwin, derek, hough, chaka khan, emmys 2015, laurence fishburne, tracee ellis ross, anthony anderson, will forte, jeffrey tambor, kym johnson, shark tank, robert herjavec, jungle book, cgi, scarlet johansson, bill murray, ben kingsley, idris elba, christopher walken, drama, celebrity apprentice, arnold schwarzenegger, donald trump, nbc, taylor swift, bad blood, emmy award, original interactive program, the late show, stephen colbert, ashley madison, horror, silent, epcot international food & wine festival, walt disney world, the chew, october, celebrity, jimmy fallon, tonight show, dj khaled, all i do is win, country music awards, eric church, little big town, miranda lambert, kenny chesney, sam hunt, maddie & tae, kacey musgraves, chris stapleton, late night, jeb bush, george clooney, war room, straight outta compton, faith-based drama, a walk in the woods, robert redford, september 8, documentary, history, movies, steven spielberg, the bfg, dreamworks, walt disney company, fashion police, melissa rivers, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya, mtv vma, njcki minaj, miley cyrus, anaconda

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store