The Dreamers (film)

The Dreamers (film)

Infobox Film
name = The Dreamers

image_size =
caption = Film poster
director = Bernardo Bertolucci
producer = Jeremy Thomas
writer = Gilbert Adair
narrator =
starring = Eva Green
Louis Garrel
Michael Pitt
music = "(See soundtrack)"
cinematography = Fabio Cianchetti
editing = Jacopo Quadri
distributor = Worldwide: HanWay Films France: TFM Distribution USA: Fox Searchlight
released = September 1, 2003 (Venice Film Festival)
runtime = Italy 130 min.
USA 115 min.
country =
language = English / French
budget = $15 millionmojo title|id=dreamers|title=The Dreamers]
gross = $12.3 - 15.1 million [ [ The Dreamers] from The Numbers]
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:285859
imdb_id = 0309987
Infobox movie certificates
Argentina = 16
Australia = R
Austria =
Belgium = 16
Brazil = 16
Bulgaria =
Canada (Alberta) = R
Canada (BC/SK) = 18A
Canada (Manitoba) = R
Canada (Maritime) = 18
Canada (Ontario) = R
Canada (Quebec) = 16+
Canada (Home Video) = R
Chile =
Colombia =
Cyprus =
Czech_Republic =
Denmark = 11
Finland = K-15
France = 12
Germany = 16
Greece =
Hong_Kong = III
Hungary = 18
Iceland = 16
India =
Indonesia =
Ireland = 18
Israel = 18
Italy = VM14
Japan = R-18
Luxembourg =
Malaysia = (banned)
Malta =
Mexico = C
Netherlands = 16
New_Zealand = R18
Norway = 15
Peru = 18
Philippines =
Poland =
Portugal = M/16
Puerto_Rico =
Romania =
Singapore = R21 (cut)
Slovakia =
South_Africa = 18 NS
South_Korea = 18
Spain = 18
Sweden = 15
Switzerland =
Taiwan = R-18
Thailand =
United_Kingdom = 18
United_States = NC-17 (R and NC-17 on DVD)
Uruguay =

"The Dreamers" is a 2003 British/French drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. The film's screenplay is based on Gilbert Adair's novel "The Holy Innocents". Adair also wrote the screenplay for the film.

In the United States, the film was the first released with an NC-17 rating in six years [ NC-17 comes out from hiding] , an April 2004 article from the "Los Angeles Times"] whereas in Italy the same film was rated WM14.


A young American exchange student, Matthew (Michael Pitt), has come to Paris in order to study French. Though he has lived there for several months, and will stay in Paris for a year, he has made no friends. As a huge fan of film, he spends most of his time in the Cinémathèque Française. Eventually he forms a rapid friendship with a Frenchwoman, Isabelle (Eva Green), and her brother, Théo (Louis Garrel). Isabelle and Theo are twins, and were originally conjoined at her right and his left shoulder, respectively. Throughout the film, scars on their shoulders can be seen. All three have an avid love for movies, especially "the classics". As their friendship grows, Matthew learns of the extreme intimacy shared by the siblings (what one reviewer described as "incestuous in all but the most technical sense" [ When to Be Young Was Very Sexy] , a review from "The New York Times"] ) and gets pulled into their world. Over time he falls in love with them, and the three seclude themselves from the world, falling further and further from the reality of the 1968 student rebellions. An abrupt ending to this relationship comes when that world is shattered and they are compelled to face the reality of 1968 France.


Although the author of "The Holy Innocents" adapted his own work for the screenplay, Bertolucci insisted on additional changes during pre-production. The director "peppered the narrative with clips from the films he loves" and dropped "gay sex" that was in the first draft of the script, which Bertolucci felt was "just too much"; after it was released, he said he was "faithful to the spirit of the book but not the letter" [,6737,1141677,00.html Stealing beauty] , a February 2004 article from "The Guardian"]

Jake Gyllenhaal was offered the role that Pitt eventually got, but turned it down in summer 2002 because he "wasn't ready to get naked on film." [ [ In at the deep end] , an October 2002 interview with Gyllenhaal from "The Guardian"] Eva Green told "The Guardian" that her agent and her parents begged her not to take the role, concerned that the film would cause her career to "have the same destiny as Maria Schneider".


When Eva Green saw a rough cut of the film, she said she was "quite shocked" and had to look away during the sex scenes; she later told an interviewer that for her, "it was as though I was wearing a costume while we were making the film. It was as if I had another story in my mind. So I was left speechless".

Fox Searchlight considered the "The Dreamers" a "specialized film with a targeted audience" and gave the uncut version a limited release in the United States; it played in 116 theaters at its peak and grossed $2.5 million. Among Rotten Tomatoes critics, 61% gave it a "fresh rating" [rotten-tomatoes|id=dreamers|title=The Dreamers] ; its 40 Metacritic reviewers gave it scores that on average placed the film in the website's "generally favorable" category. [metacritic film|id=dreamers|title=The Dreamers] A.O. Scott of "The New York Times" said the film was "disarmingly sweet and completely enchanting" and described it as "fus [ing] sexual discovery with political tumult by means of a heady, heedless romanticism that nearly obscures the film's patient, skeptical intelligence." "The Times" called it a "heady blend of "Last Tango" and "Stealing Beauty", but one that combines the grubbily voyeuristic elements of each film rather than their relative strengths." [ [ "The Dreamers"] , a November 2003 review by "The Times" of its London Film Festival screening]

Film references

* "Bande à part"
** Isabelle, Theo, and Matthew race through the Louvre, attempting to break the record depicted in "Bande à part" of 9 minutes and 43 seconds.
* "Shock Corridor"
** Film Matthew watches at the Cinémathèque Française at the beginning of the movie.
* "Pierrot le fou"
** Music from the film appears in "The Dreamers"
* "The 400 Blows"
** The main title music by Jean Constantin appears in "The Dreamers"
* "Persona"
** Matthew has a picture of Liv Ullman and Bibi Andersson from Persona in his apartment
* "La Chinoise"
** A poster of the film hangs on a wall in the twin's apartment.
* "Blow-Up"
** A picture of David Hemmings in the role of the photographer hangs on the wall of the twins' apartment.
* "Blonde Venus"
** Isabelle reenacts scene in sexy white painting clothes.
* "Freaks"
** After Isabelle, Theo, and Matthew run through the Louvre, Isabelle and Theo signify their acceptance of Matthew by chanting, "We accept him, one of us," in a reflection of the wedding reception in "Freaks".
* "Scarface"
**** Theo reenacts the death of the character Tony Camonte played by Paul Muni, challenging Isabelle to name the film.
* "Queen Christina"
** Isabelle reenacts the scene in which Greta Garbo's character Queen Christina "memorizes the room," in Matthew's bedroom, the first night he sleeps over.
* "Top Hat"
** Isabelle challenges Matthew to name a scene in which a tap dancer wakes a woman in the apartment below.
* "À bout de souffle" (aka "Breathless")
** Isabelle imitates Jean Seberg's character Patricia the first night she and her brother meet Matthew.
** Isabelle claims her first words in English were "New York Herald Tribune", a conscious reference to the French New Wave film "Breathless", in which the heroine Patricia yells the same thing. The reference is accompanied by a segment of said film.
** Matthew imitates Jean-Paul Belmondo's character by rubbing his lips with his thumb in front of the mirror (something which Jean-Paul does to imitate Humphrey Bogart).
*"Sunset Boulevard"
**Isabelle puts on sunglasses and a head wrap giving an emotionless gaze, imitating Gloria Swanson's Norma Desmond character in the scene where William Holden's Joe Gillis character has entered the run-down mansion and is made to read a script that Desmond has been writing for her planned comeback.
**After Isabelle realizes her mother has seen her sleeping naked with her brother she tries to kill the three of them with natural gas. When she closes her eyes images of the suicide of Mouchette from Robert Bresson's film appear.
*"City Lights"
*"The Cameraman"
*"Rebel Without a Cause"


The soundtrack was released in February 2004; Allmusic gave it a Rating|3|5 rating, noting that "while its juxtapositions of French tradition and counterculture are jarring at times, "Dreamers" still does a worthy job of capturing the film's personal and political revolutions through music." allmusic|id=10:gbfixqyaldte|label=The Dreamers (Original Soundtrack)]

Track list:
#"Third Stone from the Sun" - Jimi Hendrix
#"Hey Joe" (cover version) - Michael Pitt & The Twins of Evil
#"Quatre Cents Coups" (from the score of "Les Quatre Cents Coups") - Jean Constantin
#"New York Herald Tribune" (from Martial Solal 's score of "Breathless") - Jean Constantin
#"Love Me Please Love Me" - Michel Polnareff
#"La Mer" - Charles Trenet
#"Song For Our Ancestors" - Steve Miller Band
#"The Spy" - The Doors
#"Tous Les Garçons et Les Filles" - Françoise Hardy
#"Ferdinand" (from Antoine Duhamel's score of "Pierrot Le Fou")
#"Dark Star" (special band edit) - The Grateful Dead
#"Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" - Edith Piaf

DVD release

The Dreamers was released on DVD in 2004. It includes a BBC film directed by David M. Thompson "Bertolucci Makes The Dreamers", narrated by Zoë Wanamaker, and a documentary "Outside the window: events in France, May 1968" with contributions from Robin Blackburn, Adair, and Bertolucci. Bertolucci says that 1968 was about cinema, politics, music, journalism, sex and philosophy dreaming together.


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