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In Dreams movie review

In Dreams: Visionaries in the Land of the Blind

Psychological thriller about a woman whose dreams foretell real-life nightmares. She is haunted by the visions of a killer.

It's the month of Faye Dunaway visited, with The Thomas Crown Affair and this film so reminiscent of The Eyes of Laura Mars. Like the original Thomas Crown Affair, the Dunaway film is more stylised than the contemporary.

Movie still, Annette Benning and Aidan Quinn in In Dreams, Festivale film reviews section; indreams.jpg - 16707 Bytes
Movie Still, Annette Benning and Aidan Quinn In Dreams
Movie still, Annette Benning and Robert Downey Jr in In Dreams, Festivale film review; indreams2.jpg - 16495 Bytes
Movie still, Annette Benning and Robert Downey Jr in In Dreams
In Dreams is not a remake of Eyes, but they have several similarities. In Eyes photographer Laura Mars sees through the eyes of a serial killer. She is currently working of a series of highly explicit crime scene photographs featuring women's fashions. In short, she is selling ladies clothing with violence. The film asks the audience to take a long look at the advertisers' use of sex and violence to sell everything, and the characters' conversations and actions are motivated by their own self-interest and by the reactions to the use of violence. Although a psychological thriller, Eyes is a thought-provoking film with a question: is this right?

"That's the thing about dreams. They're always right, always wrong."
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In Dreams has a children's writer and illustrator, Claire Cooper (Annette Benning) as a woman who has experienced precognitive dreams all her life. Like Laura, she is linked to a serial killer, in this instance a man who is taking young children and drowning them. While Laura's visions were waking images, Claire's occur in her dreams. Although the motivation of the killer is established, this is a straight drama, it does not have an underlying issue, and that makes the film less powerful. It is just a story.

It's a story that does make you question whether the old saying is true, whether in the land of the blind the one-eyed person is king. In this film, the woman who sees in the land of the blind is locked up. And considering human nature, our heroine's fate is foreseeable.

Set beside a fictitious drowned town, In Dreams gave director of photography Darius Khondji an opportunity to spread himself, "We went wild with colors and filters. In essence we wanted it to be very scary because it was so real, but still have a touch of the surreal. We achieved a lot of colour separation with filters. It was a way to distort the images and give the scenes a rich, saturated feel." Director Neil Jordan adds, "When we started out, I decided not to treat the dreams in any one specific way. Each dream was unique: one might be shot with a hand-held camera, while another might look like a decorative painting. There were different visual keys." Certainly this film is a feast for the eyes. This is the sort of cinematography that I expected from High Art.

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Due for Australian release August 12, 1999
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Just the facts:

Title: In Dreams (1998)
Written by: Based on the novel Doll's Eyes by Bari Wood, script by Neil Jordan, Bruce Robinson
Directed by: Neil Jordan
Produced by: Stephen Wooley, Redmond Morris
Edited by: tony Lawson
Director of Photography: Darius Khondji
running time: 105
rating: MA

The Players: Annette Bening, Robert Downey Jr, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea
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Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Filed: 28-Nov-1998 : Last updated:: Last tested: 3-Jul-2014 : Last compiled: 3-Jul-2014
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