Eyes Wide Shut Screen 8 articles

Eyes Wide Shut

1999

Eyes Wide Shut Poster
  • As soon as Cruise's cruise... to cultishness started though, I got on board; the essentially episodic nature of the movie revealed itself (Cruise gets on car, goes to new location, sex and shame and secrets) and the very weird vibe of it all started clicking. Unfortunately I couldn't much abide the lethargic billiards-room convo... and the pervading sense that Kubrick feels above his characters left something sour post-finale.

  • The climactic dialogue between Harford and Ziegler in Ziegler’s huge town house — a remarkable scene that runs a little over 13 minutes — has been getting some flack from reviewers who claim it explains too much. But it explains nothing conclusive, apart from Ziegler’s Zeus-like access and power and Harford’s ultimate remoteness from those reaches; Ziegler holds all the cards, and we and Harford hold none.

  • More than a decade removed from its initial release we're finally beginning to understand Kubrick's final film, which is set in a facsimile of contemporary New York but heeding closely to the psychology and sexual mores of the 1924 novella on which it is based. This discrepancy sparked incurious outrage in 1999--particularly among [NYT] writers, who actually seemed offended by the lack of realism--but it's come to resonate as one of the deepest mysteries of the director's monumental career.

  • It's a film less about suspense than (suspended) tension between two poles held firmly in place, so that the pervading feelings and themes hang over the film like a dark cloud, smothering and choking the atmosphere.

  • This film, Kubrick’s last, was the work of a perfectionist at odds with his own perfectionism; it found the director confronting the absence in his own cinema of any desire that might stabilize or ground him in the physical world. What’s left is a labyrinth with no center, a fleshless, bloodless rabbit-hole down which, if you’re not careful, you could keep on falling forever.

  • To watch it is to revel in its uncanny, blue-tinged, intentionally faux New York atmosphere. Combine that with the excellent performances from Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman—whose celebrity statuses only heighten the onscreen stakes as they embody a chilly, patrician couple—and when you step out of the theater, the holiday lights in the streets are sure to look a little more mysterious.

  • In the film, Kubrick explores the connection (or lack thereof) among culture, wealth, and morality in a discreet and non-polemical manner. Potentially straightforward readings are disrupted by contradictions in parallel plots, resulting in a film that creates a world rather than proves a thesis. All of this, of course, is accompanied by the director’s characteristically exquisite mise-en-scène.

  • It's a movie about spectacle, it’s about performance, it’s about costumes (it is literally about costumes), it’s about the neon blue light of the moon. Two decades earlier, they would’ve given this script to Russ Meyer and he also would have turned it into a complex, contradictory horror smut melodrama, which is what Eyes Wide Shut is. Or at least that’s what it felt like yesterday.

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