Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother Special Edition)
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Overall Rating 67%
Overall Rating
Ranked #422
...out of 14,100 movies
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Review by Ginose
Added: January 07, 2008
This will mark the first Stanley Kubrick movie that I beat someone to reviewing on this site, hooray for me. I find it important that I can provide my opinion on at least one of his films... and, if any, I'd really like it to be this one. The most widely ill-received film in his catalog (I suppose, with the exception of "A Clockwork Orange" and its initial release) has been described as, "weak", "poor" and (most offensively in my opinion) "pornographic"... Hmmmm... there's grounds for that argument, but, if you try to dissect the film farther, you are soon disillusioned.

It's very grounded who our characters are: a married couple who are unsure of how their relationship should be going. So much so that they are constantly at odds and ends about each others sexual activities. However, when Dr. Bill (Tom Cruise) catches up with his old friend Nick, he is revealed an odd party that Nick often plays the keyboard for... blindfolded. As a matter of fact, the last time he was there, the blindfold wasn't on too tight and slipped a bit, revealing a world of amazing lusts and . Bill is so intent on learning more that he invites himself to the assembly. Once there he sees it all, everyone enjoying themselves in an amazing romp of all kinds of debauchery. After a rather embarrassing moment, Bill leaves the assembly and continues on, trying to find out more and more about this group. All the while, the group that held this "meeting" continues to follow the good doctor, before long, Bill realizes that he is no longer safe, and neither are his wife (Nicole Kidman) and daughter.

I'd just like to say that the description I gave is terrible, absolutely terrible. Fairly accurate? Yes, but it only covers on layer of this movie, only one perspective. There's so much going on with the characters, that it seems like you'll never be able to take it all in at once, you can only see it from Bill's perspective (more than likely, because he's the one you spend the most time with) and you only see his shallow human nature. As you see this, then you're more likely to be appalled by the ending, more or less, do to your own misunderstandings of the film's meaning.

I really only saw what the overlying idea of it after two or three viewings, and, ever since, I watch it more and more, in portions, trying to cut it down further and further, trying to understand the characters a bit more.

There is little doubt in my mind that you will not completely understand this movie after one viewing, there is even less doubt that you will not want to watch it again after disliking it once. However, I urge you, PLEAD with you, watch it again.

And, hey, even if you didn't like it, it's still fun to try and find all of the Christmas trees.

People give so much hatred for this movie, and to this day I'll never get why. This movie stands very happily as one of the most widely misinterpreted films I've ever seen, and will probably continue to be for years and years to come. But, at least I understand people's opinion of it better than I used to. Oh well.

Either way, the performances are spot-on, and, like all Kubrick movies, it's such a beautiful film to watch that the images and camera-work alone make it feel like you didn't completely waste your time.

Waste your time on a Kubrick movie? What am I saying?

All in all I won't shot this movie higher than it is. A 8.7/10 sounds right. After all, of a movie takes more than one viewing to truly appreciate, it's hard to call it perfect, isn't it?
grain of sand #1: grain of sand - added 01/07/2008, 06:52 PM
this is a good one, i liked the scattered simple piano they had going on some scenes that just built tension without you even realizing it.. acting is good.. its a kubrick film, gotta love it

Ginose #2: Ginose - added 01/07/2008, 08:27 PM
That's what I'd give it, personally. After repeated viewings I just liked it more and more. Unfortunately, I felt the need to give it the score I thought it deserved after seeing it but once.
bluemeanie #3: bluemeanie - added 01/08/2008, 02:49 AM
Perfect film. A phenomenal way for Kubrick to sign off. Just for that scene between Tom Cruise and Alan Cumming -- just the way Kubrick knew how to get performances out of his actors. I love this picture. 10/10.
Ginose #4: Ginose - added 01/08/2008, 07:11 PM
Well put, sir. Well put.
Edd #5: Edd - added 04/10/2013, 02:24 AM
What an interesting film about the Illuminati. 9/10
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