The Dreamlife of Angels - A-
Viewed April 2, 1999 at Lincoln Plaza

At least we know the Cannes jury didn't screw up the acting awards : Elodie Bouchez and Natascha Regnier both give incredible performances as the two improbable friends (they have distinctly opposite personalities), and their work together is arguably the best portrait of young women on that gray area of life between adolescence and adulthood in the history of film. Superb performances in a French naturalistic drama are pretty much to be expected, though, and I think there's another element present in Dreamlife that's been little mentioned : the strong religious undercurrent throughout the film. Call me crazy, but it's not insane to actually take the film's title more or less literally -- if Bouchez's Isa had been revealed to wear a halo as a fashion accessory, I wouldn't have beeen surprised. A lot of Dreamlife's tone reminds me of Breaking the Waves before the final shot of heavenly bells; like that film, part of the thematic structure in Erick Zoncka's film involves questioning the goodness of God -- we get a miracle that involves a sacrifice.