January 22, 1999

Titanic, Psycho and Sybil in a blender. You’ve got got the decrepit underwater city that reminds one a bit too much of the remains of the Titanic. You’ve got the ‘evil mother caused the boy to turn into a killer’ angle. You’ve got the psychological trauma of voices in the head. On top of that, there is a thin layer of Snow White creeping in, with all the apples, the evil mother, the repeated symbolism of ‘the kiss.’ This is In Dreams.

Even though it is a bit derivative, In Dreams was pretty entertaining. As always, Neil Jordan’s striking visual style makes up for whatever else is lacking. The dream sequences seem to be filmed in black and white, then colored in. The sheer amount of apples in this film probably set the Washington Apple industry for the next ten years.

Robert Downey Jr. appeared far too late in the film, probably because he was too busy being in jail. He was the best thing about the film. It must suck to be typecast as a freak. Stephen Rea was in it (of course) but not as much as would be expected – it was like Jordan tossed him bone. Annette Bening was ok – if you like that sort of thing.

I was left unfulfilled at the end. I expected there to be a concrete connection between Claire and Vivian – but I was denied. There was not really any reason for her to be the one victimized. I wanted to find out that she was his sister, or that they knew each from somewhere. I did like the ending – I was glad that it did not have the chickenshit ending. All in all, an entertaining film, but I doubt anyone will go see it.

Year – 1999
Rating – R
Runtime – 98 minutes
Genre – Thriller
Director(s) – Neil Jordan
Writer(s) – Bari Wood, Bruce Robinson
Actor(s) – Annette Bening, Robert Downey Jr., Aidan Quinn, Paul Guilfoyle
BOB Rating – Three BOBs
Favorite Quote – "Get out of my brain!" - Claire (Annette Bening)