Eyes Wide Shut (1999) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A doctor becomes obsessed with having a sexual encounter after his wife admits to having sexual fantasies about a man she met and chastising him for dishonesty in not admitting to his own fantasies. This sets him off into unfulfilled encounters with a dead patient's daughter and a hooker. But when he visits a nightclub, where a pianist friend Nick Nightingale is playing, he learns about a secret sexual group and decides to attend one of their congregations. However, he quickly learns he is in well over his head and finds he and his family are threatened. Runtime: 159 mins Release Date: 15 Jul 1999
Kubrick's Gift to us all. "I have seen one or two things in my life but never, never anything like this." (by JFHunt)
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 <more>
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.
A fitting completion to Kubrick's study of humanity (by Skywise-4)
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 <more>
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.
A haunting dream of sexual obsession. (by weezer-5)
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 <more>
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.
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 <more>
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.
An impressive film with a bad marketing campaign (by niteman)
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 <more>
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.
Mis-marketed and misunderstood, among Kubrick's best (by WriConsult)
***SPOILER ALERT - I'M GOING TO EXPLAIN THIS MOVIE! ***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 <more>
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.
A mirror audaciously obsessive in its dazzling revelations... (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
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 <more>
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...
Although the title is "Eyes wide shut", when watching this film, you have to keep your eyes wide open. This film is base on the novella 《Traumnovelle》 Dream Story , written by Arthur Schnitzler, who Freud claimed had such an intimate affinity with. Kubrick had spent decades of time adapted the novella to the motion picture. With joint effort of two greatest minds, the film is among the most profound ones, so that requires great effort to interpret. In the very beginning of the film, Bill walked from the living room, through the bedroom, towards bathroom. This move provides us a <more>
clear establishment inside this New York couple's house. The view is clearly described by Tim Kreider as, "The paintings that cover the Harfords' walls from floor to ceiling painted by Kubrick's wife Christiane almost all depict flowers or food, making explicit the function of art in their environment as mere decor-art for consumption." Then followed, Alice, who just finished using the bathroom stand up, made her first frontal appearance. This obvious continuity between the paintings and Alice, combining the starting scene which displayed her naked back, implied that our main female character was also an art work that the main male character had collected. When Alice asked Bill why he wasn't jealous, the answer Bill gave is "Because you are my wife and the mother of my child." What he had in mind was that Alice was something he owned rather than the person he shared a life with. Alice talked about her fantasy to Bill that she was ready to give up every thing, including her family and her child just because of the glance of the naval officer. She was saying that in order to protest the Bill's ownership. This revealed more of the submissive position where Alice stood --- Always leading by the male. Her appearance was always associated with the mirror. As analysis in Lacan's theory:"The mirror stage is a phenomenon to which I assign a twofold value. In the first place, it has historical value as it marks a decisive turning-point in the mental development of the child. In the second place, it typifies an essential libidinal relationship with the body image" Alice constantly behavior of checking the mirror indicates of her loss of self-identification. She was familiar with being a wife and a mother---the ego characteristics required by the society. Alice looked like a serious person, wearing glasses, hardly smile. Not until she was on alcohol, pot or during dreaming, did the relax expression appeared on her face. From this we would know she repressed lots of her own desires, hide the tension, the anxiety deep down, so as to meet the demand of her husband and the society. However, when she was unconscious, she couldn't control of the desires and just let it out. The night, Bill came home from the orgy party, found her giggling during her sleep. But when woke up, she look very terrified. The transition from sleep to awaken is analog with the transition form unconscious to conscious. The four step of dream interpretation "secondary revision" could be applied to the dramatic attitude changing from being satisfied to being terrified. She feels guilty about dream cheating of her husband so she forced herself as remembering the dream as a horrific nightmare.Bill maintained his dominant poison, identified himself as the role of the saver, using money to control people such as costume shop owner, the taxi driver and ultimately since he was the only financial support of the family, using money to control Alice. When he wanted to do something that considered as immoral or transgression, he start to searching through the unconscious to find the excuses to keep him away from being guilty. The fantasies of his wife making love with the naval officer occurring three times, each followed by the action of searching other women to fulfill his sexual needs, hooking up with the prostitute, calling his late patient's daughter who expressed her desires for him before and going to the orgy party. He needed the reason for the self gratification. And the idea of revenge to his wife's fantasized infidelity severed him well. From this we can indicate that Bill indeed is a very hypocritical person. He spared no effort finding ways to satisfy his id desires while his wife Alice tried really hard to repress it. I think the scene which he found that the mask lying on his pillow implied that he, not his wife, is the person who cheated and disguised as an honest man. Every detail in this film is carefully designed. The name of prostitute the "domino" is actually a kind of mask, which predicted the following masque in held in the Somerton. The password of the party is "Fidelio", which was the Italian for faithful. It's severs as an irony because using such word as engaging into an orgy. Also, Fidelio is Beethoven' opera telling the story of how a wife risked her life to save her husband in prison from death. It predicted the result that in the end Mandy sacrificed herself to protect Bill's life. It also was using stairs as a metaphor for social class and the dirt inside the upper ones. The higher you climb, the more bodies you might discovered in their closets. Just as the saying goes: "There is nothing accidental in Kubrick's film." Because of the films contains numerous hidden meanings and great complexity. People who watch the film at the first time often found it very confusing. Also, during the promotion, it marketed as an erotic thriller, therefore, for people who just want to watch celebrities couple having hot steamy sex on screen would be really disappointed. It's much more sophisticated and you would notice something new when you watch it again and again.
I remember when Kubrick passed away. I read it in the morning newspaper, and was struck with deep sadness I couldn't explain. Mind you, I was not even 12 years old at the time and had barely seen any of his films. So I went to see "Eyes Wide Shut" 1999 at the cinema. I credit it, along with Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line" 1998 , as an experience that ignited my interest in film, since they were both films like I had never seen before. Sure, there's that one reason why a young lad might be interested in this, but I was so struck by its atmosphere and <more>
narrative flow that I had to read Schnitzler's "Traumnovelle". And how disappointed I was in how unalike they were. The film was in a world of its own that had a sense of time that was its own, a sense of colour that was its own, a sense of light that was its own. Every movement was languid, every word deliberate.I never really thought about the connection between this and Malick's film until now, but really, they both move in the realm of dreams and memories and projected, subjective realities – between something that did happen to someone and something that might have happened. There's ellipsis, ambiguity, metaphor. Both work their magic in visual terms. I'm soaked in that light from the ball even by recalling the images in my mind as I'm writing this.Fidelio – enter.