Sci-Fi London Film Festival: Lucid

When Are You Dreaming?

by OC Movies


Zel, a lonely young man's life changes when his enigmatic neighbour offers to help him overcome social anxiety.

23rd May 2019

Adam Morse

Adam Morse

Running Time:
1h 26min


There have been many movies about dreams, about whether the world we live in is one big dream, whether we can manipulate our dreams, sadly for us, they are pretty much all better than Lucid.

The fact that writer and director Adam Morse (“Diamonds (Short)”, “The Window (Short)”), was registered blind in 2009, means that Lucid is a remarkable feat, he’s helped enormously by cinematographer Michel Dierickx, who translates the ideas to screen.

However, it hasn’t helped the appalling dialogue, which is painfully slow and mumbled and, for the most part, irrelevant. The action (though I’m hesitant to use that word), takes place inside one nightclub, whether we’re dreaming or not, which, given dreams allow for the ultimate imagination, seems lacking.

Laurie Calvert (“Episodes (TV)”, “The Quiet Ones”) is Zel, a painfully shy guy who works in a booth outside a members club that we are meant to believe is “exclusive” and has people who drive Ferrari’s turn up, you know the sort of place. Then you see inside and it looks like an old cinema that could do with a lick of paint, you know the sort of place.

He wants to be part of Jasmine’s, Felicity Gilbert (“Nymphomaniac: Vol I”, “Come Here Today (Short)”), life, the woman who lives up stairs in his apartment block, but he’s too shy to talk to her.

This is when another flat member, Elliot, Billy Zane (“Curfew (TV)“, “Holmes & Watson“), a former therapist, says he can help him, by…well he never fully explains exactly how it is all going to work, just that his dreams will be controllable and more real.

Somewhat inevitably this means Zel begins to struggle to tell the difference between dreams and reality, though this is conveyed so suddenly and so subtly as to feel jarring and out of place, despite you knowing it was coming hours before, or what feels like hours before anyway.

As Zel continues his struggles, he realises (though, again, you’ll get it before he does), that it isn’t Jasmine he’s thinking about, but Kat, Sophie Kennedy Clark (“The Danish Girl“, “Go North”), another woman who works at the club and is going out with the manager Theo, Cristian Solimeno (“Welcome To Curiosity“, “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them“), who hates Zel from the off.

Oh no! What will happen? Disaster. I’ll be honest, if you are still paying attention to the film at this point I applaud you. It has taken so long to get here, and been quite dull up to this point, that you simply won’t care what’s going to happen next, you’ll just be hoping something happens.

It doesn’t, and the film ends with a whimper the likes of which I don’t think I’ve seen before. It is as if the whole film is shy, retiring. The whole movie has its head down, moving in the shadows, not wanting to be seen or not speaking up.

The premise is sound, there could have been a really great story here and it could have been visually spectacular. Whilst the (unnecessary) lens-flare and neon-esq lighting is interesting, it isn’t enough to save Lucid. Which is an ironic title as you’ll feel anything but by the end.


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