The Dreamers is a 2003 film by Bernardo Bertolucci based on the novel The Holy Innocents by Gilbert Adair. In the film, an American exchange student in 1968 Paris befriends an unusually close twin brother and sister, and becomes involved with the sister. It is set against the backdrop of the 1968 student riots.
This film provides examples of:
- Birthmark of Destiny: Theo and Isabelle use this to support their claim that they are identical twins.
- Caught with Your Pants Down: Isabelle catches Theo masturbating to old pictures of actress Marlene Dietrich, and then has him do it in front of her and Matthew.
- Everybody Has Lots of Sex: It's a movie by Bernardo Bertolucci about The '60s.
- Fetish Fuel: In-Universe. In a scene when Isabelle is wearing nothing but a sheet around her waist and black opera gloves against a black background (making it look like she has no arms from just above the elbows), Matthew says "I've always wanted to make love to the Venus de Milo."
- Foreshadowing: If anyone finds out, she'll kill herself.
- Gilligan Cut: Isabelle vehemently refusing to let Matthew into her room. Cut to next scene with Matthew exploring her room.
- Half-Identical Twins: Lampshaded by Matthew, who points out that since Theo and Isabelle are different genders their claim of being identical twins must be false.
- Hide Your Gays: In the book it's based on, The Holy Innocents by Gilbert Adair, the sexuality between Matthew and Theo was just as developed as that between Matthew and Isabelle. In the movie, the two boys just indulge in a little Ho Yay, while Matthew and Isabelle actually have lots of sex onscreen.
- Idealized Sex: Averted. Hence the NC-17 rating.
- Male Frontal Nudity: Both guys. Theo even masturbates for the camera.
- Ms. Fanservice: That's Eva Green, not wearing a lot of clothing.
- Never Trust a Trailer: Isabelle: "There's something we've always wanted to do but we've been waiting for the right person to do it with..."
- No Periods, Period: Averted. Isabelle gets hers while taking a bath with Theo and Matthew. Theo notes it's "good news", since she'd already had unprotected sex with Matthew multiple times.
- Shout-Out: To lots of old movies starring the likes of Greta Garbo. The characters often reenact scenes from classic movies (the director then usually cuts to a clip of the original). Example: Matthew, Theo and Isabelle run through the Louvre in order to break the record set in the movie Bande à part (Band of Outsiders). Also, the twins play a game in which they later involve Matthew : you reenact a movie scene and the other person has to recognize that scene or else fulfill a usually squicky dare.
- The '60s: the movie is basically a collection of everything that was cool about the sixties. It is an idealized vision full of the usual images : free love, weed all around, Janis Joplin records, and debates about Maoism, the Vietnam War, and the greatness of Eric Clapton vs. Jimi Hendrix.
- The "The" Title: The title is The Dreamers.
- Twincest: Heavily implied, though never explicitly confirmed, between Isabelle and Theo. At the very least Isabelle was a virgin until Matthew.
- Twin Threesome Fantasy: Subverted by the fact that one twin is male and the other is female.