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It was inevitable that Stanley Kubrick'sEyes Wide Shutwould be the most misunderstood film of 1999. Kubrick died four months prior to its release, and there was no end to speculation how much he would have tinkered with the picture, changed it, "fixed" it. We'll never know. But even without the haunting enigma of the director's death--and its eerie echo/anticipation in the scene when Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) visits the deathbed of one of his patients--Eyes Wide Shutwould have perplexed and polarized viewers and reviewers. After all, virtually every movie of Kubrick's post-U.S. career had; only 1964'sDr. Strangeloveopened to something approaching consensus. Quite apart from the author's tinkering, Kubrick's movies themselves always seemed to change--partly because they changedus, changed the world and the ways we experienced and understood it. And we may expectEyes Wide Shutto do the same. Unlike Kubrick himself, it has time.
So consider, as we settle in to live with this long, advisedly slow, mesmerizing film, how challenging and ambiguous its narrative strategy is. The source is an Arthur Schnitzler novella titledTraumnovelle(or "Dream Story"), and it's a moot question how much ofEyes Wide Shutitself is dream, from the blue shadows frosting the Harfords' bedroom to the backstage replica of New York's Greenwich Village that Kubrick built in England. Its major movement is an imaginative night-journey (even the daylight parts of it) taken by a man reeling from his wife's teasing confession of fantasized infidelity, and toward the end there is a token gesture of the couple waking to reality and, perhaps, a new, chastened maturity. Yet on some level--visually, psychologically, logically--every scene shimmers with unreality. Is everything in the movie a dream? And if so, who is dreaming it at any given moment, and why?
Don't settle for easy answers. Kubrick's ultimate odyssey beckons. And now the dream is yours.--Richard T. Jameson
Very Cool... Erotic, Strange, Eerie all at the same time! With Kubrick, in most cases, either you're "in" or you're "out" if you know what I mean. His films are traditionally a little more tense and slower paced that the typical "Blow something up every 3 minutes" movie. That's 100% good with me so right away I was expecting a Kubrick-esque film.
Man did I ever get it! This was a very intricate look at how relationships work and what each of our expectations can be like. We clearly assume WAY too much and this film really highlights that fact well. You can feel the frustration of Tom Cruise's character as his wife reveals her inner-most fantasies and secrets. How could this be he thinks? Well, that's what "Eyes Wide Shut" means! He sees everything around him but doesn't actually "see it". His classic view of how Men think and how Women think is all but blown to shreds by his wifes revelations. Nearly every situation he gets in he is tempted or at least has to deal with a sexual gratification offer and has a hard time escaping. Its almost as if he is being tested by the marriage gods or something. Great concept, very cool.
The mansion orgy/sex costume party scene was very dreamy and erotic... it could even be a little frightening only because this is very over the top stuff for the "Joneses" in the world and you really had no freegin idea what the hell Stanley was up to. I mean what the frick were these people thinking? Either way, like a train wreck,you can't possibly look away! I had no idea what to expect with this scene and as usual, Stanley shot it just perfectly with that artsy touch combined with palpable tension. There was a lot of nudity but it was never "dirty", at least in principle so I had no problem with it. The Euro version has even more skin.
I will say that the end was rather abrupt and a few loose ends remained but overall I liked this movie a lot and will probably purchase it.
I will warn you though... it is classic Kubrick style with longer scenes, slower pacing, and plenty of build up before much happens. It is beautifully filmed though and it was easy to feel immersed in the story. Just don't expect a slam, bam action flick.
DRASTICALLY MISUNDERSTOOD AND UNDERRATED Eyes Wide Shut is a drastically misunderstood and underrated movie. It is one that can be enjoyed deeper and on many different levels the more times you see it. Tom Cruise and Nicloe Kidman are both brilliant in their roles. How this movie got overlooked at oscar time, I'll never understand. Stanley Kubrick again creates more emotional imagery and mood to tell his story than anything else. An artform that he is by far the best at. And he does it with elements that would be taboo and detructive to most other people's styles. He weaves a web and takes you exactly where he wants you to go once he's got your attention. Perhaps the word artist is more fitting to describe Stanely Kubrick than any other director in the history of cinema. Sadly this is to be Kubrick's final film. He was one of the best, and this is one of his best.kubrick's sardonic comedy ranks among the greatest films hellooo? did critics see the same movie i saw? this movie joins stanley kubricks great science fiction trilogy of 1964-71 ("dr strangelove", "2001", "clockwork orange") in my list of the 100 best films ever. tom cruise reminds us that if you skip the baggage hes a fine actor (always has been, always will be) and nicole kidman was ridiculously not even nominated for an oscar (repeating the injustice of "to die for", and pointing out even more the absurdity of her eventual victory in the bloated "the hours"). there is sooooo much going on in this movie. this is imho the finest comedy of manners (does anybody even know what that phrase means nowadays?) about american life since "the graduate". i remember being 14 years old and sitting in a theater watching "2001" with my bewildered parents and looking over and realizing the gap was there (love you still, mom&dad); you either get this film or you dont, but i defy anyone to not remember it. thank you stanley kubrick, for the rich movie experiences you gave us, and especially for this final masterpiece to which i will gladly return.