Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Raul Ruiz's Love Torn in a Dream is introduced with a fake newsreel, taking place in postwar France, in which the cast of the film meet with the producer, who explains the film's complex weave of nine narratives. A diagram in which each story is represented by a letter of the alphabet explicates the intertwining of the nine tales. As the producer explains each actor's role, the film begins. The stories, rooted in folklore, bump up against each other as the film leaps back in forth in time. They involve a jewel stolen from a painting, a mirror that "steals" what it reflects, a seminary student who dresses as a priest to hear the nuns' confessions, brothers who combat each other in their search for a group of rings, a man whose everyday life is predicted by a website 24 hours in advance, a Catholic who finds out he's really Jewish, and a treasure map that leads to a pirate's chest. Each of the main cast members plays multiple roles. Ruiz veterans Melvil Poupaud and Elsa Zylberstein play the lead roles, while Lambert Wilson, Christian Vadim, Diogo Dória, José Meireles, and Rogério Samora play supporting roles. The film won the FIPRESCI Award at the 2000 Montreal World Film Festival, and was shown as part of the "Film Comment Selects" series at New York's Lincoln Center in 2003.