In honour of Christopher Nolan’s Inception, one of the biggest movies of the year, we’ve decided to sink into the cinematic land of nod to take a look at some of the best movie dreams.
They say that Hollywood is where dreams can come true and by golly they were right. So we poured over a tonne of movies in which characters are visited by the sandman and it actually helped us overcome our own recurring dream/nightmare – Claudia Winkleman presenting Film 2010.
It sure has been a cathartic exercise for team OTB and now we’d like to share our experiences with you by giving you the rundown of best dream sequences in movies. Enjoy.
After seeing Kevin Spacey practically jizzing in his pants over Mena Suvari in American Beauty, we never looked at a rose in the same way. His character, Lester Burnham, becomes fixated on the young temptress and starts having rose-based fantasies about her. Technically, these are sex fantasies but we’re classing them as daydreams, so just suck it up and enjoy.
Michel Gondry’s über French film is a masterclass in the weirdness of people’s dreams. Gael Garcia Bernal plays Stéphane Miroux whose in love with his neighbour but can’t quite articulate how he feels in real life. His dreams are another matter – they’re frantic and filled with surreal images, the kind you’d only see in French cinema. Here’s a sequence where Stéphane shows his boss, well, who’s boss.
Richard Linklater’s trippy dreamfest Waking Life follows an unamed young man who finds that every time he wakes up from a dream, he’s in another. Filmed with real actors, Linklater used rotoscoping to animate the scenes into a surreal, fluid style – something he went on to use in A Scanner Darkly. The film’s script is made up of a series of essay style sections about the nature of dreams and reality, take a look at this excerpt about lucid dreaming.
Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michelle (Lisa Kudrow) are best friends who never really grew up and when it comes time for their high school reunion, they fabricate more interesting lives for themselves. The pair wind up arguing over which of them is cuter, their measure for cuteness being Mary and Rhoda from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Michelle then dreams about what they would be like in the future if they stayed angry at each other – cue lots of old lady makeup and grey wigs. The whole movie’s fun and silly but it’s also pretty realistic in terms of how long girls can hold a grudge for, check it out.
As over Adam Sandler as we are, we have to admit, Happy Gilmore still has us laughing our asses off. Our favourite moment is when Happy needs to find the strength to beat Shooter McGavin, the golf pro who’s out to get him. Happy visits his happy place and daydreams that all his dreams come true – his grandma’s rich, his friend Chubbs is alive and has both of his hands and a lingerie clad Julie Bowen serves him pitchers of beers. Not bad.
The director’s cut of Blade Runner is by far the superior version of Ridley Scott’s iconic scifi movie. It stars Harrison Ford as Deckard and if you’ve seen it then you’ll understand how important its dream sequence is. Left out of the original theatrical cut, the mystery that surrounds Deckard is revealed, if you’re paying attention, to a dream he has of a unicorn – check it out.
We said dreams, we didn’t say they’d be good ones. The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise has its ups and downs but one of our favourite nightmares involves one of Freddie Krueger’s victims being turned into a living puppet. It’s pretty disgusting but it’s everything we want from a nightmare. Don’t eat something right before you watch this clip – you might see it again five minutes later.
You know how it is: you go to sleep and there’s a nuclear holocaust. Happens to everyone, right? Except in Sarah Connor’s case, her dream could be a reality in the Terminator series. If she doesn’t stop the creation of Skynet then the world as we know it would come to an abrupt end – take a look at Sarah’s nightmare.
I think we can all agree that there is nothing scarier than a clown, so we can all sympathise with Pee Wee Herman when he dreams that clowns are going to destroy his beloved red bike. Take a look and just try and deny that you’ve had a dream like this..
Jimmy Stewart is famous for playing the friendly everyman but in Hitchock’s classic Vertigo, he takes on the role of Scottie, a man unhinged by his wife’s death. His madness explodes into his dreams and creates a swirling vortex of light and colour. The classic nightmare.