Eyes Wide Shut (1999) Poster

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Mis-marketed and misunderstood, among Kubrick's best
WriConsult7 June 2002
Warning: Spoilers

It's a shame that this film was promoted as a "hot" erotic thriller. Kubrick would not have allowed that marketing campaign to go forward had he been alive. Sure there's a lot of eroticism in this movie, but those who go to it looking for sexual thrills are going to be (and were) sorely disappointed.

The events in this movie are triggered by the protagonist's wife's revelation that she almost slept with another man. This kicks off a range of emotions and prompts him to re-evaluate his sexual relationship with her, subsequently leading to a trip through his sexual SUBconscious. This is the critical point that all too many viewers miss, though it's so overtly surreal I don't see how one could miss it. None of this is real! It's called Eyes Wide SHUT for a reason!

All of our protagonists' "encounters" represent manifestations of his sexual fantasies and fears. His fantasies include group sex, sex with a teenager, sex with a prostitute, sex without strings. His fears include disease, homosexuality (notice the brutal and brief encounter with the gay-bashing gang), and most of all: discovery. Discovery of his hidden fantasies, which might reveal his true nature to the world. Discovery that he is really a pretender, doesn't really belong, and is not worthy after all. This latter is probably universal, and in his case while it has sexual dimensions it is not purely sexual. In the end he realizes that his fantasies are just fantasies, at least some of his fears are legitimate, and that instead of just fantasizing about sex he should actually have sex with his wife. Not rocket science here, but plenty of people need reminding of this from time to time, and it's a well-told story.

I was fortunate enough to first see this movie in theaters overseas, and was spared the atrocity of digital editing to make things less explicit. David Lynch did the same thing more recently in Mulholland Drive, and I hope that this is not the beginning of a trend. Given all of the explicit gore and brutality in movies, the level of sexual explicitness that triggers the censors is simply laughable. Frankly, having seen the un-edited version, I didn't think it was a big deal.

One can't dismiss criticisms that the nudity was all female and many of the women were depicted as sexual objects, but this movie is quite pointedly a trip through a fairly conventional man's sexual unconscious and necessarily told from a male point of view. So none of these things should be a surprise. It would be very interesting to see a comparable exploration of the female sexual subconscious by an accomplished woman director, though I'm not holding my breath that the Hollywood establishment will allow that to happen soon.
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An impressive film with a bad marketing campaign
niteman17 July 1999
Eyes Wide Shut is ill-suited for the summer movie corridor. It has no explosions, no running, shouting, or a single gunshot. What it has are long scenes in which characters talk to one another. Slowly and carefully. The problem is that the film is marketed as having white-hot sex scenes and plenty of gratuitous nudity, while it has neither. There is plenty of naked flesh, don't get me wrong, but in exactly the opposite way that the ads make it appear. This is not a movie about being sexy and naked -- it's a movie about how flesh is just another part of being human, so what is all the fuss about? The marketing campaign is misleading, and led to disappointment in the audience that I saw the movie with, who were just looking for some skin.

The tension in the plot and the issues that the film discusses aren't telegraphed to the audience, they're hinted at in the dialog. There is no neat resolution at the end, life simply goes on. You may watch the whole film and think "that wasn't about anything!" Then think about what you've seen and realize it has a great deal to say.

The film is a meditation on sexuality and how it relates to marriage, death, and money. It's a fascinating commentary on modern life, and a rare movie that dares to examine sex as impassionately as any other issue.

The directing and cinematography alone would be worth the price of admission without the social commentary. The sets are an integral part of the movie; they breathe and glow and live. Kubrick was a master director, and he uses long shots and dissolves to great effect. Cruise and Kidman are at their best, and the supporting cast is also strong. It's Kubrick's magic work with the camera that holds the film together.

All in all, definitely worth seeing for the un-uptight. It's possible to watch this film and actually think about it for hours afterward. That's something you won't get with the Wild, Wild West.
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A mirror audaciously obsessive in its dazzling revelations...
Nazi_Fighter_David7 September 1999
Warning: Spoilers
Stanley Kubrick was tempted to do "Eyes Wide Shut" in 1970, but Christianne, his wife, felt that her marriage could be in jeopardy, so she implored him not to do it... But "Eyes Wide Shut" came to be after all, the last temptation of Kubrick...

The film begins revealing the nice figure in high heels of Alice Harford (Nicole Kidman), moving in sliding motion her nice black gown... Alice is invited with her husband Dr. William (Tom Cruise) to a holiday party given by a New York wealthy broker called Victor Ziegler (Sydney Pollack).

While Alice is dancing half-drunk with an effusive Hungarian (Ski Dumont), she was, at the same time, spying on her husband who was flirting with two models... A ménage à trois is insinuated by the attractive girls, but a sudden interruption comes from Ziegler's private apartment which made the doctor climb upstairs to assist an attractive woman lying unconscious, repressed, overdosed!

The famous mirror love scene, between Alice and her husband, reflected a missing sexual desire between them both... William was kissing his lovely wife on the neck while her glance seemed weary and tired... It seems that the eroticism has vanished from her boring life... Only a little intimate contact is left... Is she truly recognizing a necessity for a change, maybe for a new husband much more nearby...

Looking for a certain sexual vengeance, Alice begins irritating her husband about adultery by testing his immunity, and relating some fantasy she had with a handsome naval officer last summer, she assures William that 'if the handsome office had wanted her,' she would have sacrificed everything, even her marriage and her child for one night stand!

Feeling his word destroyed into fragments, and walking the dangerous streets of New York, William remembered an old friend he met in the party, the piano player Todd Field (Nick Nightingale). He decides to pass by...

There, Nick divulges a secret... A secret place on Long Island... A château where he will be playing piano 'eyes shuttered'... But he continued, to get into the castle, one must have a mask, a disguise and he must 'know' the password...

With shades of Hitchcock's "Vertigo," Kubrick starts to play, at this point, with his characters... He seems escorting them and leading the audience for some purpose, for one definite performance he prepared his whole picture for it... Kubrick did not create a film about sex... He made a film about the conception of sex... He wanted us to explore something inside our mind that we usually prefer not to discover... Through his eyes a visual work appeared, a cinematic technique breathtakingly beautiful, a perfectionism, precise and mystical...

Reducing the dialog to a minimum, and with a distinguished confused music, we were in presence of a strange ceremonial rite, a picturesque ritual...

Based on a psychological drama, written by the Viennese novelist Arthur Schnizler, "Eyes Wide Shut" is a mirror, audaciously obsessive in its dazzling revelations, profound, provocative and passionate, transmitted in a frame of sex, fear and death, that we have to see with wide eyes fully opened...
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A fitting completion to Kubrick's study of humanity
Skywise-417 July 1999
I managed to swallow my expectations before the film, setting myself to judge it on its own without judging it as a Kubrick film. No need, no need! This film IS a Kubrick film, without any doubt, and as all Kubrick films are it was absolutely stunning. Absolutely. Visually it is brilliant, though I should warn that this isn't quite as visual a film as most other Kubrick works. A lot of the film focuses on the characters, on human interaction, something rather new to this director. Of course, all the Kubrick trademarks are there, cold analytical gazes, sharp introspection. Tom Cruise seems like Jack Nicholson in 'The Shining' and even Malcolm MacDowell in 'A Clockwork Orange' at times, a rather striking fact considering that this is Tom Cruise. The performances were excellent all around, even from places not expected. Again, this is typical for Kubrick. He wasn't much of a people director, but he still knew how to direct people.

Almost every moment of this film was flawless, perfect and pristine. The dialog is predictable, but in some solemn and holy fateful sort of way, as though the words and the moments are matched so essentially that nothing else could possibly fit. Beyond that the sounds and images all fit together beautifully, creating an almost unblemished whole. The only part that didn't seem right was the sequence that had been digitally altered. While the alterations were not nearly so obtrusive as I had feared (not knowing about them one probably wouldn't notice them) they do grow a bit noticeable for redundancy (you see a lot more backs than you'd expect, and always in the same places). Unfortunately these came right in the middle of one of the most visually amazing pieces of the film (one of the most amazing pieces of cinema as a whole, in my opinion), a very unwelcome distraction.

Is this movie about sex? Yes, it is, but more importantly it is about people. The sex part is simply a product thereof. This is one of the most disturbingly honest portraits of human behavior and motivations ever made. The most honest I've ever seen, at least. To be put simply: It is about sex because people are about sex.

I'm still trying to sort through this movie. It's been a good twelve hours since I saw it, and I can still feel it, hard and definite, rotating in my stomach. The film itself seems mostly void of opinion (not entirely, but mostly), serving more as a general statement and commentary than any specific moral warning, but the questions it inspires are very strong indeed. The film, being objective, provides no answers, no justification for humanity. There is no redemption, either, none whatsoever. The film's final word sums it (it being the film and humanity) up pretty well, for better or for worse. I guess that depends on you.

A common thread in Kubrick's films since 2001 has been the contemplation and examination of human intentions, the essence of human behavior. Motivations. He's shown us violence and madness and everything else, all tracking the path back to the dawn of man. I think he finally figured it out with this film, however anticlimactic the discovery might have been. At least he did finally figure it out. That's something.

I am one of many. I never had the privilege to know Stanley Kubrick. I don't even know that privilege is the right word. I do know his films, though, and while I am in no position to say that I will miss him as a person, I can say, without doubt or hesitation, that I will miss him as a filmmaker.
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Kubrick's Gift to us all. "I have seen one or two things in my life but never, never anything like this."
JFHunt25 September 2005
I'm sitting here trying to come up with a clever comment about this movie to make you want to see it. When in reality it doesn't matter what I say. As Stallone would say "I'm at least half a bum." The truth to it is, it kind of makes me sad that I'll probably never see another movie that affects so much. Never experience a film that 6 years after it's release, I still can not forget.

To say the most, it's a powerful film. The directing is world class. The camera work is haunting and the soundtrack gives me chills. It's Cruise at his finest. He is so convincing that one might actually believe that this guy is Doctor Bill Harford and this really did happen to him. And that my friends is the definition of acting. The seriousness of the situation fades away with a stern smile as the plot thickens.

To say the least it is one of those movies you could watch over and over again. To be honest with you, I didn't buy it the first time I saw it. I thought it was good, but not great. Then one day I was bored, so I decided to see it again. And that's when it happened. Kubrick came alive. I became infected by his genius and captivated by Cruise's portrayal. His realization and his detail.

It's hard to pick my favorite scene in the movie. I couldn't pretend if I tried. I particularly love the opening party scene. That leads to a "Baby did a bad bad thing". Cruise being assaulted on the street being so eloquently called a fag. The prostitute. From the piano bar to the costume shop. And finally, the unionized orgy party, that I find hard to believe doesn't really exist. Maybe only guys like Kubrick or Cruise will ever really know if they do or not.

Many people might disagree with me when I say Eyes Wide Shut is one of the greatest films. But how come I think it is every time I watch it? To me, it's more than a beautiful work of art. More than a visceral painted picture or a haunting melody. It's a masterpiece that should be treasured.
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A haunting dream of sexual obsession.
weezer-518 July 1999
I admit that I'm part of the Kubrick cult(people that follow his movies like a religion), and I was first in line to see this movie. Being a huge movie fan I've seen a wide variety of movies, and have walked away from them with a wide variety of emotions. This was the first movie to put me in a trance, or dream, like state. The way the movie was shot, lighted, and so on gave the feel of a dream (to me at least). I believe that this feel is just what was needed and what Kubrick wanted. Everyone has to admit to thinking about the dark side of sex, and I believe that in this movie we see that a person can explore the buried desires of their sexual id and still come away a good person.

I'm guessing that this was a very personal movie for Kubrick. He seemed to take Cruise's character to places that he, personally, wished he could explore. Places, like a prostitute or an orgy, that he'd like to visit, but not want to stay at very long.

Praise has to go to Cruise and Kidman for their performances. Cruise was able to strip away his movie star veneer that seems to protect him in all of his other movies, and bring through the clouded, tormented, and unsure heart of a jealous man. Kidman must have known that part of her role was to be eye candy, but she fought through that and gave the movie's best performance.

To anyone out there thinking about seeing the movie.....I say go. Some will hate it and others will love it, but half the fun of the movie lies in the discussions that will blossom from this great movie experience.
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Remarkable finale to a long, glorious career
Jaime N. Christley16 July 1999
The thing a lot of folks haven't liked about Stanley Kubrick's films is the fact that he always seemed to think the audience needed some points driven home a little harder than others. Very little is left for debate; most everything is spelled out, pressed hard, and dwelled upon. His critics have compared the long waits between his films to the long periods of waiting that occur while watching his films.

Personally, I like the long, slow scenes in his films. When they're filled with something: music, movement, thought, memory of a previous scene, dread, or any other emotion, they can never really be said to be empty. I like them because, with Kubrick, I can be sure that they're absolutely essential to his ultimate vision. He could have put out a six-hour documentary on tissue manufacturing; at least I'll know that not one minute of screen time is wasted.

"Eyes Wide Shut" isn't as vacuous as, say, "Barry Lyndon" or "The Shining." Compared to those two, this one scoots along like a person trying to get to his car in the rain. It'll try a lot of folks' patience, I'm sure -- even his most loyal fans will be bothered by the incessant piano "bell tolls" in the soundtrack of some scenes, or the constant reminders (in imaginary flashbacks) that Cruise's character is bothered by his wife's near-infidelity. I know I was.

Despite that, it's an apt final film for the long, glorious career of a man who has done more for the cinema, with less movies, than can ever be catalogued. To try and cite influences for this particular work is futile. Though one might draw parallels to Lindsay Anderson's "O Lucky Man!" or Martin Scorsese's "After Hours," "Eyes Wide Shut" is no less than a complete work from the cold heart and brilliant mind of Stanley Kubrick alone. It's also a furiously ingenious piece of filmmaking, one that works less on the emotions than on the senses and on the mind. Unlike most of Kubrick's earlier work, however, it does have an emotional subtext, which is used to devastating effect.

Cruise, by the way, does an outstanding job, not as a trained, camera-conscious film actor, but as a mature, seasoned performer. Here he uses his "Top Gun"/"Jerry Maguire" suavity to malicious effect; like Ryan O'Neal's Barry Lyndon before him, he's an egotistical cad. Unlike Lyndon, he gains our sympathy -- that's key to keeping us from disowning his character and thus negating the entire film.

Kidman is given less screen time, but it matters little. She's mostly seen in the beginning, and she has brief (but crucial) scenes throughout, and a masterful one at the end. It is safe to say that this is her best performance to date, and those of us who have been ignoring her treasured abilities up until now (the Academy, critics, myself) will be astounded to see how far she's come since "Dead Calm." Her high points: the argument with her husband that ends by setting the film's plot in motion perfectly captures the way women lure men into arguments when the cause for one is nonexistent (and on Cruise's part, how men can't think fast enough to do anything about it), and her dream confession scene, in which she wakes laughing but becomes tearful during recollection.

On a technical level, "Eyes Wide Shut" displays Kubrick's trademark perfectionism. Recreating Vietnam in rural England for "Full Metal Jacket" must have been nearly impossible, but the unrelenting accuracy in recreating uptown and downtown New York City is absolutely stunning. Right down to the diners and the newspaper stands; I shake my head in awe when I remind myself that Kubrick (a native Brooklynite) hasn't been to NYC in decades. The lighting and photography is impeccable, also, as it is in every one of his films.

This is the sort of film one sees more than once. Once is good to cleanse the palate, to clear out all the residual toxins left from other recent films. See it again, perhaps a third time, and get to appreciate the graceful, nearly unblemished finale of a man who took the art of cinema seriously. It's a sobering experience.
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Be prepared to think
Holden-1718 July 1999
There is no denying that Stanley Kubrick is one of the greatest filmmakers to ever live. He may not have made many films, but every single one of them is a masterpiece. That is not something that can be said about many other directors. He is a true artist. And it is because of that word, "art", that his work is often misunderstood. Rather than create films which reveal everything that the audience needs to know through the dialogue or the action, Kubrick layers his films with meaning. He does this through all aspects of the film.. the music, the images, the dialogue, and expressions. And by the end of the film, nothing is left clear, because he wants you to think about what you have seen, and come up with your own meaning for the film. The problem with this is that most people don't go to see films to think, they just want to see the next "Armageddon" or "Waterboy". So, if "Eyes Wide Shut" fails at the box-office, or is badly criticized by movie-goers, it has nothing to do with the film itself, but is more reflective of the movie-goers, and their inability to see further than what is presented to them on the screen. Life experience and a philosophical mind is also required to fully understand and enjoy this film. If you have ever thought of what role sex plays in your relationship, and what love and commitment really mean, you will understand this film. If you have ever considered what the difference between love and sex is, you will understand this film. If you have ever truly felt lust, you will understand this film. Be prepared to think.
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Kubrick's final masterpiece
SKG-219 July 1999
Warning: Spoilers
After three years of waiting, EYES WIDE SHUT has finally come out. So now after all this time, the delays, the rumors, the teases, the sad death of its director, Stanley Kubrick, we finally get to answer the question, Does it live up to the hype? For the first time this year, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. This is, so far, the best film I've seen this year, and it deserves its place among other Kubrick masterpieces like DR. STRANGELOVE, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.

Although I had been looking forward to this film, I must admit I was unsure about it at first. After all, since CLOCKWORK, Kubrick's films(BARRY LYNDON, THE SHINING, and FULL METAL JACKET), while having some good parts, have all been somewhat flawed, particularly THE SHINING. But my misgivings were quickly put to rest within the opening scenes, where we get a glimpse of both what's right on the surface(nine happy years of marriage, wealth, a healthy 7 year old daughter, both husband and wife with jobs) and the possibility of storms that lurk underneath(the practiced way they get ready for the party, hardly looking at each other), and I stayed enthralled throughout.

Now I'd like to use this forum to deflect some of the criticisms I've read of the movie so far. One, of course, is that this is not really New York City, but a soundstage in England. I've lived in New York City and visited several times, and the surface details seem right, but more importantly, this is set in the "rich" area of Manhattan, which has always been idealized in movies(particularly the Woody Allen ones), and thus it's appropriate in a dream-like movie to play to the fantasy of the city, rather than the reality.

Secondly, we are given no hint that this is a dream Cruise's character may be walking in, since it looks so real(yes, that's inconsistent with the criticism up above, but to be fair, I've only seen a couple of reviews which make that mistake). First of all, dreams rarely look like they were designed by Salvador Dali(at least, my dreams). Secondly, if the whole nighttime sequence looked like a dream and nothing else, we would laugh when Cruise goes back to the various places he visited at night; how would he know to go back to them if they weren't real? Finally, in the way the narrative unspools, it's played like a dream, complete with scene where he might be awakening(the scene with Domino(Vinessa Shaw), the prostitute, where his cell phone rings and Kidman is on the phone right before he can do any damage).

Thirdly, that Kidman is only in the film for 40 minutes of its 2 hour, 40 minute running length. Now granted, that is all of her screen time, but when Cruise enters his "dream state", she is always in back of his mind, not just in the flashback scenes(when he imagines her having sex with the sailor she had fantasies about), but in the fact that all the other women he comes across are meant to make him think of Kidman. And her performance is certainly strong enough(especially in her monologues) to linger in the mind.

Fourth, that Cruise is completely flat here. Again, at least in the dreams I've had and read about, often in dreams we react to events, not provoke them, and that's what his character does. Secondly, Kubrick and Cruise play off of his image, to make him the object of desire of everyone he meets, and not just women(I like to think the scenes where he's harassed by a group of teenage thugs who think he's gay, and where hotel concierge Alan Cumming seems to be coming on to him, are Kubrick's way of joking about the rumors of Cruise being gay which have dogged him). For all of that, I think he plays it exactly right.

Finally, that the film is flat and not really sexy. Once again, unless it's a nightmare, dreams aren't played at MTV speed. Secondly, contrary to what we heard at first about the film, this isn't about sex. Rather, this is about sexual obsession, so it's not supposed to be about sex the act. It may seem like the film cheats a little by asking us to play off our expectations of Cruise and Kidman as a couple, so we just picture in our heads them having sex, rather than us seeing it, but isn't it good that some things are left to our imagination? Besides, it's only on the surface that things look good, as I said before.

Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to read DREAM STORY, the novella this is based on, and so have no answer to those who claim this is a poor adaptation(though what some have called stilted dialogue I think adds to the dreamlike quality, and I'm normally on the lookout for flat dialogue), and that may be true. But this is an excellent film, a fitting epitaph for Kubrick, and proof once again that Cruise can act when he's teamed with a real director.
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Eyes Wide Open
AlexDeLargeisHere2 February 2012
Stanley Kubrick's final film is perhaps the first of its kind: it is the only film I have watched that exists within the state of death itself. It's no surprise; Stanley Kubrick died 4 days after submitting the final print into Warner Bros., Sydney Pollock died in 2008 and my grandparents, who saw this film at a screening in 1999, are dead. However, these aren't merely the reasons this film evokes a death-like state, this film evokes a death-like state throughout Bill Harford's sexual odyssey. During the Masonic orgy, which is arguably the film's center-piece, women are used and discarded as corpses who are only valued for their material gain. This film is shroud in ultra-violet blue, especially at the end of the film where it accentuates the characters' trembling flesh and vulnerable humanity, and the powerful red which contrasts against this blue reflects one of Kubrick's favorite themes: dominance. Perhaps it's inexplicable that Eyes Wide Shut evokes a man's dying thoughts. Ironically, this film feels more fresh and timeless than many of its contemporaries, only reaffirming the inestimable value of Kubrick's contributions to cinema and a decade of a cinematic drought aptly followed his death. It was fashionable to deride Stanley Kubrick's final film during its theatrical run, regardless of the fact that he considered it his personal favorite. It seems that the audience expected Kubrick to inundate them with gratuitous eroticism as opposed to ideas. Yet, Eyes Wide Shut has outsmarted time and the film industry itself. It was almost incongruously released a week before American Pie and the abysmal Will Smith star vehicle Wild Wild West. It continues to hold a mere 7.2/10 on IMDb in contrast to escapist science-fiction film The Matrix which holds an 8.7/10 rating and is listed in the top 30 films of all time, above Kubrick's more cerebral science-fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. All of this may be due to the fact that Kubrick argued that 'Observancy is a dying art' and Eyes Wide Shut requires an attention to detail and an attention span that transcends the average summer blockbuster; it's easy to get lost in the terrifying labyrinth of Kubrick's musings. Though, unlike other films, Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut refutes the transcendent imagery and magic that is featured in the majority of Kubrick's films, even in Eyes Wide Shut itself, and strips humanity down to its fragile human core, figuratively speaking; Kubrick comes to the conclusion that when man is confronted with the cold and harsh reality, he favors comforting self-delusion and blissful ignorance.

Sydney Pollock's Ziegler argues, during his amazing final monologue, that the Masonic orgies are practiced by society's elite which excludes Bill. Bill spends the duration of the film's first half attempting to engage in infidelity after his wife reveals that she was willing to choose one night with a naval officer over their future. Naturally, this enrages Bill and he spends the night attempting to fulfill his personal need to subjugate his feelings of impotence, sexual and otherwise. Even in the very beginning, when Bill walks with two models, his short stature implicitly denotes his lack of power. Bill is convinced that he has been subjected to a life of domesticity and his wife is responsible; he vows to reaffirm his masculinity. Kubrick paints long shots of New York at midnight which is designed to inspire the viewer with dread. Almost every single beautiful shot capturing the very essence of soft, warm colors in the beginning soon descends into the dark and strong colors that reflect the very dream-state many describe when they watch this film. Yet, to me, it evokes a foreboding death-like state which suggests impending doom.

Bill's quest for reaffirmation of his masculinity only renders him emasculated when he enters a Masonic orgy and is rendered socially powerless by a group of the masked elite. Bill's journey neither leads him towards enlightenment nor satisfaction but humiliation and understanding that he has been domesticated by the higher classes. Ironically, his quest for sexual empowerment only led him to the understanding of social domesticity; Bill is not as influential or elite as he had initially anticipated. Not unlike the elite's perception of women; they use the high-class prostitutes as objects valued for their material value which reflects their perception of the masses that are responsible for their success. As in the beginning, when Ziegler needs Bill to revive a dying woman who almost overdoses on a combination of cocaine and heroin, Ziegler values Bill for his medical expertise which prevented trouble with the law rather than his personality. Kubrick's film argues that we live in ignorance of others perceptions of us and this is the ultimate existential fear of Harford; the elite have seen Harford unmasked, vulnerable and exposed. Pollock says 'If you knew who was there, you wouldn't sleep so well.' Kubrick has finally exposed man for who he really is; vulnerable and ignorant of the mysterious forces which govern him. The final and most playfully complex of cinema's closing lines concludes that Bill and Alice Harford have learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. They refuse to acknowledge their social impotence and would prefer for their eyes to remain wide shut, ignorant to the mysterious forces that govern them. On a more optimistic note, however, perhaps Bill's odyssey only made him aware of his vulnerability, and Kubrick evokes this through the dark imagery that recreates the sense of subjective paranoia that Bill is experiencing. Bill realizes what ultimately matters: love and family, as opposed to the power which he initially craved but only realized he was at the mercy of others' application of such social power. I'm open to many interpretations of this film, because Kubrick wanted the audience's eyes to remain wide open soon after they finished experiencing this masterpiece.
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The Final Masterpiece From The Greatest Filmmaker Of All Time
CinemaClown22 November 2015
From the director behind influential masterpieces like The Killing, Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining & Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut marks the final entry in the decades-spanning, unprecedented & extraordinary filmmaking career of Stanley Kubrick. And just like all of his reappraised works, is a classic that unveils more of its intricate layers on multiple viewings.

Set in New York City, Eyes Wide Shut tells the story of Dr. William "Bill" Harford whose life spirals out of control when his wife tells him about an erotic fantasy she had about another man which shatters his faith in her. Unable to get the image of his wife & the other man out of his head, he embarks on a night-long adventure during which he comes extremely close to cheating on his wife & also infiltrates a quasi-religious sexual ritual at a country mansion after learning about it from a friend.

Co-written, produced & directed by Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut is a film about sexual desires that's jam-packed with symbolism & metaphorical elements. The entire film exhibits a sexually charged atmosphere and every single character inhabiting it has nothing but sex on his or her mind. Kubrick's direction makes efficient use of all his trademarks and just like before, he manages to push forward the existing boundaries of the medium while adding a few innovative tricks into the filmmaking manual in the process.

The screenplay smears the plot with multitudes of themes & insinuations, the story unfolds in a slow, methodical manner, the leading characters have an in-depth complexity which is wonderfully illustrated by the master storyteller, each sequence is meticulously detailed & technically refined, and it has a lot to say about sex, infidelity, physical relations, desires & fantasies. However, dialogue isn't one of its strengths for every time anyone says anything, the other character repeats the same as a question which becomes annoying after a while.

The technical aspects always score very high marks in Kubrick films and Eyes Wide Shut is no exception. The set pieces are gorgeously rendered, extensively detailed & beautifully lit. Cinematography encapsulates the entire picture with a bizarre, dream-like ambiance which goes on to further amplify the overall experience while also intensifying its erotic attributes. The use of colours is noteworthy while lighting here is a work of perfection. Its 159 minutes of runtime & deliberately slow pace may feel like a challenging ordeal but it never becomes an issue once the drama sets in.

The incorporation of classical songs to compliment the unfolding drama continues in Eyes Wide Shut and all the musical arrangements are wisely chosen & carefully infused into the storyline. Coming to the performances, the cast comprises of Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Marie Richardson & Todd Field. Even though both Cruise & Kidman put in commendable effort into their respective roles of Mr. & Mrs. Harford, it's actually their on- spot chemistry that makes them click so well, and while there are no definite stand-outs, the contribution by its entire cast only works in the film's favour.

On an overall scale, Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut may not be as pathbreaking as most of his masterpieces but it's nonetheless a deeply fascinating meditation on sexual relations and despite its cynical tone, manages to be an erotic, enthralling & engaging thriller. While the plot is heavy & explicit in sexual content, approaching it as a sex-romp cinema won't do enough justice for Kubrick digs much deeper into the primordial aspects of human nature to put up an exquisite looking tale that's aesthetic, artistic & unlike anything before or since. It may not be Kubrick's greatest, but it's still a genre masterpiece. Thoroughly recommended. Multiple viewings advised.
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A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: Kubrick's swan song, and arguably his greatest
murtaza_mma8 December 2009
Stanley Kubrick is unarguably Anglo-American cinema's most potent reply to the 'Fellinis', the 'Bunuels', the 'Bergmans', the 'Kurosawas', the 'Rays', and the 'Tarkovskys' of the world. Ubiquitously known for his inexorable yearning for perfection and uncanny innovation, Kubrick had managed to hold millions of viewers worldwide in a transfixion through his brilliant works for well over four decades. Regarded by Kubrick as his very best, Eyes Wide Shut is incredibly brilliant and sui generis. It's an elixir for the sore eyes; a panacea for the perturbed souls; a surreally psychedelic pleasure. Like most of his avant-garde works, Eyes Wide Shut is open to speculation and can be interpreted in a number of ways.

Despite being rife with nudity, Eyes Wide Shut cannot be stigmatized or snubbed on the account of eroticism. On the contrary, it is aesthetic as well as thought-provoking. The movie incredibly manages to have a tremendous impact on the intellect as well as the viscera, asking incessant questions of the viewer while simultaneously haunting his thoughts and refining his imagination. The story revolves around a New York based doctor whose wife's confession of ephemeral infidelity perplexes him. Consequently, his chagrin and dudgeon drives him into a night of debauchery where he gets a lesson on sexual and moral enlightenment, which inexplicably saves him from an incipient turmoil. The cinematography is awe-inspiring to say the least and is well complemented by the plaintively haunting background score. The orgy scene, which is treated with contempt by many, is undoubtedly one of the most vivid scenes ever visualized or choreographed in the history of cinema. In fact, it is Kubrick's brilliant showmanship that makes it so very special.

Tom Cruise is absolutely brilliant and convincing in the challenging portrayal of Dr. Harford and succeeds in having an enormous impact on the viewers and also manages to evoke their empathy. The nocturnal odyssey being rife with debauchery and decadence, ironically serves as a lesson of moral reformation. Nicole Kidman is ravishingly scintillating in her portrayal. The couple has incredibly managed to mirror their real life chemistry and tension on screen.

The movie is a quintessence of cinematic excellence and can only be relished by discarding bigotry, conservatism and prejudice. The movie is a delectable feast and a must watch for patient viewers and lovers of avant-garde cinema. 10/10

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Compelling, complex observation of fidelities and fantasies
pooch-819 July 1999
With the exception of a late-occurring scene of deadening over-explanation wholly unnecessary to the film on every level (and rather unusual for Kubrick), Eyes Wide Shut is utterly sensational, and represents another gleaming jewel in the master filmmaker's already studded crown. Cruise and Kidman surpass all of their previous work, turning in spectacular performances infused with nuances only hinted at prior to this outing. Their real-life union appears to bring every bit of unique tension Kubrick intended, as the movie wholly depends on the verisimilitude of the central couple's relationship. Kubrick's tone fulfills all the promise of the title, consistently delivering an elevated texture of almost uncanny imagination perpetually hovering between fantasy and reality. The director additionally mines many of his familiar thematic concerns, including deceit, paranoia, and blinding frustration. Eyes Wide Shut is certain to be as closely scrutinized as many of Kubrick's other films (particularly because it is his final work), and its thoughtful and challenging treatment of such lightning-rod topics as marital honesty, sexual jealousy, and the perceived risks of disclosing one's fantasies (even to the single person you trust more than any other) is sure to draw some people in while pushing others away.
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Insanely absorbing story about human psychology
schroeder-gustavo6 July 2015
Eyes Wide Shut is one of the most absorbing movies I have ever seen. I wanted more after every minute, every scene was amazingly shot, the score is incredible and fits perfectly with the mood of the movie, which feels like a dream mostly, or even nightmarish.

The movie was cast perfectly as both Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman give amazing performances to a very believable story that I could really identify with. This is a very unique story that I'm sure most people can relate to.

Eyes Wide Shut is a magnificent study on human psychology and ranks as one of Stanley Kubrick's best films.
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Like all Kubrick, more than the sum of its parts.
AlWhite17 July 1999
I admire the work of Stanley Kubrick very much. All his films remain in my mind with a vitality far beyond most of the other work I see, even though the details of the films are often boring or inscrutable.

Eyes Wide Shut is no exception - there were many times in the movie where I could find no meaning or interest in an individual moment, but the overall experience is a lingering one with a deep impact - maybe Kubrick works the magic of making the spectator really _feel_ the characters turmoil and inner struggles by including so much of the mundane and seemingly unrelated incidents of "real life".

A fine conclusion to an excellent career.

p.s., being in Canada I had to put up with the "edited" version, which was certainly not subtle in its censorship. Oddly enough the couple beside me walked out from boredom, not sexual squeamishness. Should have digitally added some gunfights.
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Unique, truly extraordinary
Ben_hanson11126 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of my favourite films. I love the tense and psychological atmosphere throughout and every scene was fascinating in its own way. This film was not meant to be particularly sexy as many viewers were expecting. Kubrick would not have allowed it to be marketed in such a way. Many of the characters Bill meets are purely symbolic so people should not complain that they are implausible or caricatured. I would not argue with people who complain of the film's slow pace but it didn't bother me personally. Brief outline: The first part of the film sets the scene and introduces the main characters: Bill and Alice, Nick Nightingale and Ziegler. Bill and Alice's marital situation becomes clear and then her confession sets off a chain of events forming the main subject of the film. Bill has several near sexual encounters with various strangers before Nightingale points him to the mysterious masked orgy at the mansion. I found this to be one of the most sinister and haunting scenes in movie history. Bill discovers that this society is extremely private and that intruders are dealt with severely. He is spared after a woman at the orgy appears to sacrifice herself.

During the rest of the film Bill struggles to come to terms with what he has seen and remains curious, especially of what became of Nick. The film retains a strong element of mystery and only ever shows what Bill sees. Ziegler, revealed as a member of the orgy attempts to explain things to Bill and reassure him that nothing sinister went on. Can he be believed? I loved the way the film was shot and the sets were exceptional. All the characters were perfect for their role in the film and the mystery kept me interested throughout. This is a serious film but everything that happens shouldn't be taken at face value. There are many things that aren't explained and seem implausible. e.g The mask appearing on the pillow. It is not made clear that the events are imagined but they are often symbolic and should be taken allegorically. Eyes Wide Shut is flawed, the mystery could have been resolved better, perhaps with Ziegler's explanation being discredited. It remains a great film because its the brilliance that went before that sticks in the mind.
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Limp story-telling wrapped up as semi-intellectual nonsense
Rogue-420 September 1999
And so the last chapter of the Kubrick enigma is written. Trouble is, the real enigma is why anyone thought there was one to start with.

There is a danger that Eyes Wide Shut will become, as Kubrick's last movie and the one he died making, some sort of cinematic Holy Grail, immune to all criticism. But it deserves to be said: this is a bad film. Story is glossed over with ambiguity and characterisation eliminated for, well, nothing in particular.

The primary problem is that it is a film lacking in any direction whatsoever - by the mid-way point it could have turned into an excellent thriller, or gone in another direction and been an equally compelling look at the two main character's relationship with each other. Indeed, it spent two hours building up both of these plots, but failed to deliver on either. Instead, it wandered off for the last hour in no particular direction and consistently failed to expand any of its ideas into anything resembling a plot-line, ending with a insultingly limp coda where everything was forgotten, forgiven and plastered over. It is as if halfway through, Kubrick changed his mind about what the film was about and then changed it back again for the last half hour, leaving neither element explored to any great degree.

Like most of Kubrick's films, the characters are bland, narrow and un-engaging; Tom Cruise's character bumbles from one unrelated event to the next, purely on the motivation that he feels the need to cheat on his marriage because he misjudged his wife's ability to fantasise. There is no structure to his movements through the film. It's all rather aimless. It's all rather pointless. His breakdown at the end is all the more ridiculous because he didn't actually do anything except spend a hideous amount of money not doing it. If this is an accurate analysis of relationships in the nineties, heaven help us all.

The one sub-plot that actually promises to engage any interest - a piano player friend has a job at a party that Cruise contrives to sneak into - is presented in a manner worthy of Hitchcock. The resulting party is suitably weird and has a darkly threatening conclusion. Another twenty minutes are spent turning the screws up a notch or two further. You reach a point where you are genuinely on the edge of your seat and then the whole thing fizzles out, to be left with the feeling that surely that can't be all there is to it? Maybe you have to tune in again next week for the second part...

What we are left with is an hour in the middle of the film that was completely unnecessary to the relationship of the two main protagonists, which seems to have been the main point of the film. All it serves is to inject a little weirdness into what would otherwise have been a rather banal story about the sexual jealousies of two spoiled middle-class New Yorkers. But even this isn't taken anywhere really interesting. Instead of seeing the characters under a microscope, you feel as if you watching them from the wrong end of a pair of binoculars. Any interest comes from your own desperate attempts to bring the various plot points together in some sort of cohesion.

Most frustratingly, the film is littered with well-rounded, interesting characters and ideas and, like all Kubrick films, is beautifully shot. But this simply isn't enough to make it a compelling piece of cinema. Like 2001, A Clockwork Orange and the second half of Full Metal Jacket, there is no emotional attachment to the subject - everything is presented rather coldly and clinically; even the griminess of the hooker's apartment doesn't feel that grimy. It may as well have been a documentary on fungal nail infection. The wonderful and intriguing characters - the Hungarian playboy, the neurotic and repressed daughter of one of Cruise's patients - are discarded after a single scene each. They are not taken any further. It's all a bit of a cheat, really.

Like Peter Selllars in Dr Strangelove, Jack Nicholson in The Shining, or Vincent D'Onforio in Full Metal Jacket, this film needed an actor with enough personal charisma and confidence in himself to still shine through after Kubrick's relentless directorial hammering. Instead, the entire cast go through the motions like clockwork, like someone who has said the same word over and over so many times that it no longer has any relation to its meaning. Two performances leave an impression: Alan Cummings, who has played his role so often he can slip into it effortlessly; the other is from Rade Serbedzija, who hams it up wonderfully. The rest, most disappointingly Sidney Pollack, simply glide through the film, leaving no trace of their passing.

It is human nature to try to make sense of something so pointless - let's face it, you've paid your money and you want to know what you've spent it on. The danger is that this excruciatingly blank canvas will become painted over with a lot of semi-intellectual twaddle, as self-appointed interpreters of the film preach to the countless poor souls who sat for two hours wondering when the film was going to start and the third hour in the sinking realisation that it was almost over. To say that you "get what you put in", or that "the pointlessness *is* the point" is a pathetic apology for a film with no idea what it wants to be.
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An Onslaught Of Sight, Sound & Psychological Genius!!!
TheAnimalMother2 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Eyes Wide Shut must be one of the most under-appreciated films in the history of film. A true masterpiece that only a genius like Kubrick could create.

To me, the film is mostly about the different masks that we wear, (The personas or even disguises that we take on) throughout our relationships with people and society. As well as the fact that we sometimes have to close our eyes to certain aspects of reality or occurrence, a basic necessity for us to function with some sense of sanity. Coming to terms with accepting the reality of human imperfection is part of an undeniable theme here. This aspect is hammered home in the final scene.

It is clear with Kubrick's final work that he is the true master of sight, sound and storytelling on film. This film plays like a sonic and visual orchestra for the senses, while the subject matter swirls and pokes at the heart and mind in the most haunting and intimate of ways.

Eyes Wide Shut may just be the most open minded study of relationships and the human experience in the history of the cinema. Only the Italian master Fellini seems to even compare to Kubrick on this level of fearlessness and visionary depth.

Like most of Kubrick's works, this is a film that can easily be watched over and over again because of it's visual beauty, exquisite detail, and deep rooted themes. In my view, this film in it's own bizarre way is as good of a film as any that have ever been made.

As much of a loss as it is to lose such a great artist. Kubrick's masterful storytelling, extraordinary visions, and hauntingly honest reflections of the world live on through a collection of films that in my view, HAS NO EQUAL.

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It's The Wizard of Oz for adults.
straker224 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Remember the Wizard of Oz? Dorothy travels to somewhere over the rainbow, follows the yellow brick road and meets the Wizard. He's a fearsome figure with a mask...but behind the mask is a fragile little man who is hiding behind his fake persona.

Now...let's apply that idea to marriage. We all wear masks, don't we? We put on a persona and we hide the truth. The wife asks if you've ever been attracted to other women and you deny it. You pretend not to notice anyone else, to spare her feelings.

So Stanley Kubrick wants to look at this idea of honesty in marriage and relationships. People naked, having sex, yet wearing masks to hide their faces, their true identities, their thoughts. What a clever image! It's a complete mirror image opposite of what we see in the world, people with bodies covered and faces exposed. Is he saying we are at our least honest when we have sex?

When Alice Harford opens up to her husband, when she "unmasks" and reveals her fantasies about another man, it stuns Dr. Bill Harford to the very core. Her honesty is too much for him. Kubrick let's us know we're in an adult Wizard of Oz. Two girls tell Bill they are taking him to "where the rainbow ends". Rainbow colored Christmas tree lights are in almost every shot and Bill gets a mask from "Rainbow costumes". And yellow...the color of that brick road, is all about. A yellow cab takes Bill on his journey to the orgy of masked, yet otherwise naked, bodies.

When Bill finally goes home, he finds his mask on his wife's pillow. It seems Alice has got his number. He too "unmasks" and confesses. Kubrick seems to be suggesting that temptation is dangerous and that the wisest and safest thing a man can do is go home to his wife and get honest with her. Take off the mask, have the courage to expose the fragile man behind the false persona.

The other nice thing is the final moment where Alice tells Bill they need to have sex as soon as possible. Sex is an act and perhaps Kubrick is also suggesting people should do it rather than talk about it if they want a happy marriage.

As a metaphor of human psychology, Eyes Wide Shut seems to be a film about the value of marriage and family life, and perhaps a film which encourages honestly between men and women, too. As a piece of film making, it's typically outstanding work for the meticulous Mr.Kubrick. It's also a very positive and optimistic film, suggesting that love, marriage and family can resist temptation and the dangers that temptation might bring. All in all, a superb motion picture from a true master of the movies.

A final word about Cruise and Kidman. Both worked long and hard, more than a year of shooting, with Stanley Kubrick and their efforts are deserving of appreciation. They both do some of their finest ever work.
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What the hell was that?
solson18 July 1999
This movies dragged on for hours, made absolutely no sense, and skipped around aimlessly. I don't mean to spit on Mr. Kubrick's grave, but I can't believe I spent $14 for this. I can honestly say that this is the worst movie I have ever seen. People came out of the theatre before us, and they were quiet, and my girlfriend and I wondered why. Now we know.
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I wish they were shut.
khadford19 July 1999
I regret my decision to stick with this movie beyond its slow beginning. The characters' motivation was completely irrational, unbelievable and left me unsympathetic with everyone shown. This movie could have been a psychological thriller, or a steamy sexual adventure. Instead it's a baffling depiction of random actions by people we just don't care about. Kubrick has produced some masterworks, but it's an error to add this film to that list.
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Three hours and no plot.
Scott L.30 July 1999
This was one of the longest movie viewing experiences I had ever had. I don't know how many times I looked at my watch to see if it was almost over. Through three hours of film I must have blinked during the unveiling of the plot. At the end you wonder what they were making a big deal about all through the movie. It made no sense to me. It was the first Kubrick film I had seen and will undoubtedly be the last one I will watch. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman looked as lost acting in this movie as I was watching it. I think many of the scenes were just thrown in for shock value.
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A very unusually bad film.
Lloyd-2330 September 1999
By writing this, I am hoping that I will save people a lot of time and money. Last night I went with a friend to see Eyes Wide Shut, Stanley Kubrick's final masterpiece. Supposedly, he had wanted to make this film for twenty-seven years, and spent sixty-seven weeks shooting it, an incredible amount of time for a commercial film. Being the sort of mug film buff that I am, I thought that I should go to see a film made by an acknowledged master, who had spent so much time getting it just right.

When the film finally ground to a halt, the audience in the cinema stood up and as one started muttering things like "Is that it?", "Thank goodness that's over" "Well, you can see why there are only two showings per day", "What a pile of ****". I have never heard a cinema audience respond so negatively to a film before. We talked about it, and we had not a single kind word to say about it. I have thought about it since, and find it void of redeeming features.

It is badly photographed. The sets are often unconvincing. The acting is mediocre. The continuity is poor. The lighting is awful. The picture quality is poor. It looks as though it was shot on 16mm, and the prints were made at Boots. Hardly anything happens which is believable. There are gaping holes in the plot. Worse than all the above, it is incredibly slow. At no point does the pace quicken. It is wildly too long. Every single conversation happens at a snail's pace. Almost every conversation is punctuated by very long awkward pauses. It seems as though Stanley thought about every scene so much in isolation, that each scene took on great significance, and to get the importance of what was happening across, he dwelt on every word and action. Every scene could be halved in length and lose nothing and gain much.

I was expecting a film in which Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise play roughly equally large parts. The film is almost entirely about the Tom Cruise character. I was expecting an intelligent exploration of jealousy and relationships and the like. Instead we get half way to a thriller, but not all the way, not enough to make it interesting, and there is no intelligent comment on human nature, nor, so far as I can tell, on anything.

This film takes itself so amazingly seriously, and yet is transparently ludicrous from start to finish. Human beings don't behave like that. Nothing made sense. Characters kept acting on information which they didn't have. The various parts of the world were not using the same clock. The sun kept rising and falling at odd times, and characters would go back to somewhere they'd been the day before, to find that no one there had moved, changed clothes, or even finished what they were saying.

Yes, there is a bit of nudity in it, but this is presented in scenes of such unnecessary length, and such little incident, that you just wish they'd get on with the next scene.

Having more recently spoken to several other people who saw it, I have encountered near-uniform condemnation of this shamefully bad film. One person fell asleep during it several times. One had to apologise to the five people who went with her to see it, who all hated it (it had been her idea to go to see it). Only two people reportedly enjoyed it, but they enjoyed it solely because they thought that it was so bad that it was funny. I say that it is too dull and slow to be found entertaining that way.

I would thoroughly recommend this film to people I intensely dislike.
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Sadly overrated tripe
Michael Kenmore15 March 2000
I cannot understand for the life of me the critics heaping praises on a film called Eyes Wide Shut. I suspect the critics who gave a film the utmost positive reviews did so out of respect for its dead co-writer and director Stanley Kubrick.

Eyes Wide Shut is an excruciatingly tedious and overlong movie that is more like the test of endurance than a thought-provoking philosophical movie such as Terrence Malick's flawed masterpiece The Thin Red Line. I was warned by an aunt that Eyes Wide Shut is really, in her own word, a "sucko". I cannot form my opinion unless I have seen the particular movie with my own eyes and judge the film based on its technical and artistic merits, among others such as logic, intelligence and content. I'm not easily offended as people might think (I consider Election one of the best movies of last year -- the sheer brilliance of the direction and screenplay blew me away -- though The Iron Giant takes the prize as my favorite movie of 1999).

What irritates me most are not only the deliberately slow pace and Nicole Kidman's terrible acting (watch the long sequence in which she was spaced out and accuses her husband of cheating, then eventually confessed) but the shallow script that have no redeeming value whatsoever -- no story, no plot, nothing. The dialogues are so contrived in the first hour that I thought Kubrick and his co-writer were fantasizing what the characters' conversations and interactions are like. The fatal flaw of the movie is its glaring emotional detachment. I felt nothing for the characters, and because of that fact, I do not care about the characters at all, regardless of the situations they face.

The infamous orgy sequence -- in its censored form -- was literally laughable, not because of the obviously computerized Austin Powers figures placed to avoid the dreadful NC-17 rating. There is no explanation or point about the supposed secrecy of the ritual comprising of the members wearing cloaks and masks and participating in copulation and orgy. It's an enigma why the ridiculous plot point is essential to the film -- not just the orgy but the whole idea that the secret society exists. This is simply to serve Kubrick's internal fantasies. I find it completely pointless and trivial.

The only things I like about the film are the decent acting by Tom Cruise and Sidney Pollack and amazing cinematography. I thought Eyes Wide Shut is truly a mediocre film. I did not like 2001: A Space Odyssey the first time I saw it, but I appreciated that film over time. Eyes Wide Shut might as well have the same effect, but its lack of emotional distinction and absurdity (witness the weird and laughable ending) are the reasons I did not like the film.

Stanley Kubrick tortured his actors and film crew during the making of Eyes Wide Shut for three years, and the final effort is not well worth it. Kubrick only wants to test the sanity of the audience sitting through the meandering and plodding two hours and 40 minutes movie.
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"They did a bad, bad thing!"
Koth-310 March 2000
This is one of the worst movies I have ever sat through. It was definitely the worst Kubrick film.

It's hard to imagine a film with this many beautiful women in it (especially Nicole Kidman) as being a waste of time, but it is. The plot could be accomplished in about 30 minutes if all of the meaningless things had been left out. You can skip the first half-hour and not be lost at all in the story. The entire segment with the costume store clerk adds NOTHING to the plot of the movie. What's more, all of the dialog and action feels like your watching the movie in slow motion. (Hit your FF button and you'll notice that most characters appear to be moving at normal speed!) Lead characters do not seem to change at all through out the film. They react to things in one way, then, when those things change, the characters are still reacting the same way, as if the changes had not occurred.

The worst part? The story is completely anti-climactic! Do sit waiting the ending that will make all the convoluted items come together because you're not going to get one.

The most annoying part for me was this nasty habit that all the characters seemed to have: One character would say a line, only to have it immediately repeated, as a question, by the other character. Example: Character one says: "You can't do that!" Character two says: "I can't do that?" This little bit of abrasion occurs about 1000 times in an already exasperating film. I never tell people not to watch a film. You need to make you're own assessment. Just don't say that you weren't warned.
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