World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Dreamlife of Angels

The Dreamlife of Angels
Directed by Erick Zonca
Written by Erick Zonca
Starring Élodie Bouchez
Natacha Régnier
Music by Yann Tiersen
Cinematography Agnès Godard
Dominique Le Rigoleur
Distributed by Diaphana Films
Release dates
  • May 1998 (1998-05) (Cannes)
  • 16 September 1998 (1998-09-16) (France)
Running time
113 minutes
Country France
Language French

The Dreamlife of Angels (French: La Vie rêvée des anges) is a 1998 French drama film directed by Erick Zonca.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Comas in films 3
  • Awards 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The film is about two working class women, Isa and Marie. Isa is a drifter and searching for a lover she had met during the summer. When she realizes that her search for him is futile and turns elsewhere she meets Marie, who lives in a small French town near Lille. The two young women instantly find a connection as they both have been treated harshly by life and are living from day to day in short-time jobs, such as working in a textile factory or delivering leaflets in the streets. Marie lives in an apartment that she is looking after because the owners had a car accident in which everyone died, except for Sandrine, a teenager, who is in a coma. Marie invites Isa to live with her. Shortly thereafter Isa and Marie meet up with two bouncers, Fredo and Charly, whom they befriend. The men help them out and they have genuine fun together, although they are not much better off than the women.

Isa is the kind of girl who always lands on her own two feet and has a casual c'est la vie attitude when it comes to life and generally doesn't let the hardships get to her, while Marie finds it hard to express herself emotionally, and gets angry when she feels vulnerable. Marie cannot put up with the way she is tossed around by the world, and so, despite being in a relationship with Charly, she tries to escape through a local playboy, Chriss, a rich night club owner, who regularly goes out with girls and views Marie as just another one of his random flings. Isa is tougher in that she can take the beating and stick with what is around her, and does not get carried away by the false possibility of a better life. Significantly, Isa refuses to sleep with her casual boyfriend Fredo, drawing her strength from within, while Marie is emotionally dependent on Chriss, who, it is clear, does not love her. Isa is well aware of Chris's true intentions and tries to warn Marie who refuses to listen.

Isa finds the diary of Sandrine, and reads it to her during visits in the hospital. Meanwhile, Chriss decides to end his fling with Marie. Instead of breaking up with her in person, he asks Isa to tell her for him (she replies "it's not for me to tell her"), clearly afraid Marie would self-destruct in front of him, then leaving Marie's later calls unreturned. After finally learning about Chriss' decision to end the relationship, Marie jumps out of a window. Meanwhile, Sandrine comes out of her coma, but interestingly, Isa, who has visited her so faithfully while she was in a coma, decides not to see her while she is awake. The film ends with Isa starting to work in a new factory.


  • Élodie Bouchez as Isabelle 'Isa' Tostin
  • Natacha Régnier as Marie Thomas
  • Grégoire Colin as Chriss
  • Patrick Mercado as Charly
  • Jo Prestia as Fredo
  • Louise Motte as Sandrine
  • Frédérique Hazard as Marie's mother
  • Corinne Masiero as Hollywood's woman
  • Francine Massenhave as hospital attendant
  • Zivko Niklevski as Yugoslavian textile employer
  • Murielle Colvez as shop foreperson
  • Lyazid Ouelhadj as ticket salesman
  • Jean-Michel Lemahieu as the intern
  • Rosa Maria as the first nurse

Comas in films

Research by Dr. Eelco Wijdicks on the depiction of comas in movies was published in Neurology in May 2006. Dr. Wijdicks studied 30 films (made between 1970 and 2004) that portrayed actors in prolonged comas, and he concluded that only two films accurately depicted the state of a coma victim and the agony of waiting for a patient to awaken: Reversal of Fortune (1990), which was based on actual events, and The Dreamlife of Angels (1998). The remaining 28 were criticised for portraying miraculous awakenings with no lasting side effects; unrealistic depictions of treatments and equipment required; and comatose patients remaining tanned, muscular, and suspiciously well turned out.



  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Dreamlife of Angels". Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  2. ^ "Palmarès 1999 - 24 ème cérémonie des César" [Awards 1999 - 24th César ceremony] (in French). Académie des César. 

External links

  • at the BFILa Vie Rêvée des Anges
  • The Dreamlife of Angels at the Internet Movie Database
  • Review at
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.