No Rest for the Brave, 2003

Recalling the surreal, playfully nonsensical logic puzzles of Raoul Ruiz (although lacking the Chilean-born filmmaker’s elegantly fluid camerawork and clever storytelling agility), Alain Guiraudie’s No Rest for the Brave is an absurdist, occasionally humorous, but ultimately pointless and incoherent excursion into the ambiguous, forbidding, and untenable terrain of dream state and the subconscious as a young man, having experienced a troublingly lucid dream that his next sleep would become his last, attempts to outrun his personal demons that seemingly take on the form of a persistent nemesis named Johnny Got. Unfortunately, unable to reconcile the wildly diverging, fast and loose narrative threads of the film, Guiraudie resorts to the tidy, conventional – and reprehensibly unimaginative – tactic of having the young hero articulate his learned life lessons in an unearned, neat summation direct address monologue that concludes the film.

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