The Dreamlife of Angels | Chicago Reader

The Dreamlife of Angels

This first feature by Erick Zonca (1998) is more typical than exceptional as an example of French cinema?s recent trend toward realistically depicting regional life, and its sex scenes have been trimmed to satisfy the puritanical, studio-run Motion Picture Association of America (which wouldn?t dream of interfering with the genocidal mayhem of the blockbusters). But this story of the wavering friendship between two young working-class women who meet at a clothing factory in Lille (Elodie Bouchez and Natacha Regnier) is well worth a look, above all for its nuanced performances. Bouchez and Regnier deservedly shared the best-actress prize at Cannes for their efforts here, and most of the secondary characters are equally well realized (I especially liked the concert and nightclub bouncer played by Patrick Mercado). But what really holds this film together is its fidelity to the ways people live and relate to one another, a realism seldom offered by commercial American fare. 113 min.

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