Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
There’s a certain awe one has to this film. It’s Stanley Kubrick’s last movie, took over two years in development, has the big name star couple, and no one knows ANYTHING about it. All I can say Eyes Wide Shut the movie is a challenging and engaging work from a titan of a director that will sorely be missed.
The first movie from Kubrick in over a decade comes sweeping in and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. The steady cinematography is gorgeous, coupled with the dream like lighting that seem glowing about on the frames. The story captured my attention and drew me in quickly as I was enthralled. It’s all about the tale of a husband and wife with sexual inadequacies, fantasies, delusions, and jealousy. It’s about the trust in a marriage, and how sex can be used not only as an intimate showing of feelings but as a weapon and as a tool. Journey with Tommy Cruise as he ventures through the city exploring all the different characters and how sex has influenced, controlled, or manipulated their lives.
The movie is adult, yes, but not pornographic. Those who argue it’s expensive porn don’t know what they’re saying. Though there are probably more butt shots of Kidman then necessary the movie never becomes exploitative or gratuitous. The sex here is portrayed more like a Victorian era arrangement instead of the hard-core stuff of today. In fact the sex is far more creepy than erotic. The actors all contribute nicely to the ensemble, even though Nicole Kidman is the slowest talker in the world here. But I couldn’t wait to see what she’d say next; she had me. The movie as well had me mostly.
The movie will certainly not go over well with audiences planning to see a Basic Instinct sequel in this. I blame the poor marketing that made it into something it was far from: a sexy and steamy adult thriller with TONS o’ nudity. So when people file in and find out it’s a two and a half hour art movie with depth, symbolism, and layers they are no doubt disappointed. Especially those who show up in raincoats. The movie is a fitting final work to Kubrick’s collection. Rest in peace Stanley.
Nate’s Grade: B
This movie also revisited and analyzed in the article, “1999: The Greatest Year in Film? A Review Re-View.”
Posted on July 16, 1999, in 1999 Movies, Review Re-View and tagged book, cults, drama, leelee sobieski, nicole kidman, sex, stanley kubrick, sydeny pollack, thriller, tom cruise. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
It’s a very different film than “Basic Instinct.” Verhoeven’s cult-deserving film is provocative and highly energetic, whereas Kubrick’s masterpiece is visually arresting and slowly-but-engrossingly paced. Both films merit multiple viewings, and are high on my list of favorites.
I look forward to seeing what my thoughts are as I revisit it later this summer.