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Dora Welles is an imaginative college grad ready to experience all the excitement of life. Instead she finds herself in snowy upstate New York caring for her reclusive great aunt (who has lived a much more exciting life than anyone realizes).

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I Dream Too Much movie full length review - Coming of age story with sweet screwball twist

If Eric Rohmer hailed from New Jersey or Texas he might have conceived a character like Dora ? a charming, pretty, bright young woman whose true desires remain somewhat inscrutable ? particularly to herself.

Being American rather that French, writer/director Katie Cokinos has made Dora a striver, but given her protagonist an irresistible screwball twist: Dora has a gift for throwing herself into others' dreams and aspirations.

Yet, much like a Rohmer film, I DREAM TOO MUCH creates a self-enclosed social world whose mores and details are rendered with delicacy and subtle humor. Alex Rappoport's cinematography is stunning. The lush yet pristine snowy landscapes capture the fairy tale quality of both Dora's inner life and the Hudson valley. Winter becomes more than a season, almost a character whose stillness allows Dora to change within. Diane Ladd gives a tour de force performance as Dora's great aunt Vera ? an imposing figure whose forthrightness, romantic past, and seeming incapacity to maternally dote on her grand niece prove to be just what Dora needs to jump start her life.

There is a sweetness that suffuses I DREAM TOO MUCH that's rare to find in family dramas these days and seems to harken back to an earlier period. It imbues the film with a graceful, uplifting tone ? almost a glow ? that makes this sensitively directed film about inter-generational relationships between women feel timeless. The target audience for I DREAM TOO MUCH, which includes women of all ages, will surely look forward to Cokinos' next film.