More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 22.22%
Worth A Look77.78%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 3 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Ambition by Jack Sommersby

Blackout by Jack Sommersby

Backfire by Jack Sommersby

Hit List, The (1993) by Jack Sommersby

Banker, The by Jack Sommersby

Boogey Man/The Devonsville Terror, The by Jack Sommersby

Truck Stop Women/Stunts by Jack Sommersby

Competition, The by Jack Sommersby

Hollywood Harry by Jack Sommersby

Zappa by Rob Gonsalves

subscribe to this feed

Dreamland (2006)
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"Where Dreams Hopefully Donít Go To Die"
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2006 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: Gosh, I hope a place like Dreamland exists somewhere. After all the put-upon jokes about trailer trash, finally here is a place where the terminology of community really defines itself. Close friends and tight families, not without problems, but just weary enough to know such issues come from within and are fixable despite the burden of a low income. Like all small communes, there is both contentment and a desire to break free. A girl like Audrey is caught somewhere in the middle and while her best friend desires to someday become Miss America, Audrey more than wins the title of Miss Gilbert Grape.

The wonderful Agnes Bruckner plays Audrey, an 18-year Will Hunting if her grades are any indication. Seemingly every school in the country wants her, but she tucks her acceptance letters away in a box underneath her bed. Although the fact that she applied to so many tells us something. In the interim, she works in a convenience store, experiments with the occasional ďride homeĒ from co-worker Abraham (Brian Klugman) and takes care of her loving, but alcoholic father (John Corbett, in a great minimalist performance) who has struggled with agoraphobia ever since Audreyís mother died.

What Audrey really lives for though is spending time with that best friend, Calista (Kelli Garner). They will sit in the pool and talk all day if you let them, and in Dreamland itís pretty much all theirs. Thatís when a new family arrives. Mary (Gina Gershon) and her fiancť, Herb (Chris Mulkey) fit in just nicely with the folks; her being an ex-folk singer and all. Maryís son, Mookie (Justin Long) comes along utilizing his time to re-training his knee for the basketball court when what he really needs is some height. After becoming fast friends, Audrey encourages him to ask out Calista knowing full well of her longing to feel something as she struggles with the effects of Multiple Sclerosis. Once again, sacrificing her own happiness for others since its clear from the start she cares for me than just Mookieís basketball prowess. But how long can anyone keep themselves from being happy?

Thereís a romantic quality to Dreamland thatís unmistakable. From Jonathan Selaís lush cinematography of the open desert to the behavior of its inhabitants, writer/director Jason Matzner inculcates such congeniality into the landscape that it may as well referred to itself as Pleasantville. Never does it play as false or treacly though. When confrontations do arise, some through silent indifference, we feel hollowed out a little as if knowing the ways they could have been avoided and the hurt that replaces the decency of each of them.

Audrey is not just another smart-aleck with her nose ten feet above the people she surrounds herself with. Sheís a wise and sad character who is not going to acknowledge her own potential until she provide others with some. Maybe its fear on her part, but why should she be exploiting her own hope when those in her life have so little? Bruckner is solid as Audrey, but even better is Long. Known for his nerdy comedic performances in Dodgeball and on TVís Ed, really breaks through as the sensitive romantic who has to juggle competitive emotions for both girls without breaking either of their good hearts. I suspect many girls will be swooning Long as the boyfriend they wish were available; even on just a sharing basis. Equally good is Garner, who with her comely figure and lips that rival Angelina Jolie's, may find herself getting typecast as the sexpot in any number of indies. But in Dreamland she delivers a performance brimming of forced acceptance, backed into so many corners that itís devastating to realize that her only way out of Dreamland may not be alive.

Maybe itís the beautiful terrain that surrounds these people and the unending sky full of promise that keeps them all afloat. Visit maybe, but very few of us would want to trade our digs for the little corner of Earth the folks of Dreamland have accepted as home. Then again, can home Ė no matter where it may be Ė exist without the heart? It may be playing a song on a guitar, looking out for your family or sitting all day in a pool listening to your friendís dreams. Thatís a home which is hard to make fun of.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 02/02/06 07:17:34
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Sundance Film Festival For more in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Seattle Film Festival For more in the 2006 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

5/13/07 Donna A. Just saw this. And I totally agree with you. I gave it 8/10. 4 stars
3/26/07 Nick Loved this film 5 stars
2/07/06 Mary Sumner Beautiful film with outstanding performances, I especially loved Calista played by Garner. 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  19-Dec-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 19-Dec-2006



Directed by
  Jason Matzner

Written by
  Tom Willett

  Agnes Bruckner
  Kelli Garner
  Justin Long
  John Corbett
  Gina Gershon
  Brian Klugman

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast