Thursday, September 29, 2011

Eyes Wide Shut

Although I've seen a few of his movies, I'm not entirely won over by Stanley Kubrick. He's a very good director, but his movies take some time to absorb.

Eyes Wide Shut is no exception. Like several other Kubrick movies, it explores the mental deterioration of man (with the occasional sexual reference). I like how the story is set during the Christmas season when the tale isn't exactly cheerful. I mean, really. What better way to celebrate the holidays than through thoughts of infidelity?

And also like several other Kubrick movies, Eyes Shut Wide was no stranger to controversy. (Is there one movie of his that didn't?) Personally, I find that it wasn't needed. Believe me, there have been other movies that are a lot kinkier than Eyes Wide Shut.

An interesting note for Kubrick to end on. I thought that this was very good, a far cry from the usual consensus it receives. It has the usual Kubrick themes and motifs, though the darker ones were a bit of a bother to me. Still, it's worth checking out.

My Rating: ****1/2


  1. I like this one a lot more than most people. It's one of my all time favourite films, and my second favorite Kubrick (after 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY). Glad you enjoyed it, and you're right, it does take some time to absorb. I thought Kidman was phenomenal but Cruise became annoying after a while.

  2. I enjoyed Eyes Wide Shut and found it fascinating to watch. For me Stanley Kubrick can do no wrong. He's one of my favorite directors. The thing I found amusing, though, was how Bill (Tom Cruise) would often repeat things that were said to him by various characters in the movie.

  3. Can't believe I found someone else who considers Eyes Wide Shut their second favorite Kubrick flick (rock n roll, Tyler, rock n roll).

    Great write up about a very underrated, practically abused film.

    I used to be right there with you about not being won over by Kubrick. In fact, I don't think I've ever loved a Kubrick film upon first viewing. They definitely have a way of growing on you.

    What's your favorite Kubrick so far?

  4. The trouble with EWS is that Kubrick died after delivering his first cut, and no one would touch it. Kubrick would have seriously cut it down (as he did everything), particularly Bill Harford's repititions.

    When I saw it, i was underwhelmed...I'm always underwhelmed at the first viewings of Kubrick films. "That's IT?" Yup. That's it. And it's all there, waiting for you to catch up to it. The older I get, the more I understand EWS. How it fits in perfectly with Kubrick's view that intelligence can't stave off disaster, and it is a lovely kick in the complacency for everyone who felt that Kubrick was a misogynist...while Bill broods, kvells and nearly destroys himself, the women are nurturing, sympathetic and...ultimately forgiving. And I'll always have a warm spot for how Kubrick and Kidman turned "the Kubrick stare" into one (although thought to be scarily ambiguous, at first) of love.

    I like this one more, year after year.

  5. I love Eyes Wide Shut and I don't understand the hate it gets. I think it'd be stronger if Kubrick had lived and edited it a touch, but overall it's an excellent Kubrick movie. The cinematography alone is enough to intoxicate me, it's absolutely gorgeous. Glad you liked it!

  6. I felt Kidman's talents were wasted in this film. Her character really just served as a device to start Cruise's character on his odyssey. They could have cut much of the film leading up to that and not missed much. I also wish that they hadn't put the obviously CGI people, chairs, and whatnot in to censor the scenes. They just look silly.


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