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September 21, 2004

Eyes Wide Shut


I was out on a date this summer. Architect, back from New York, conversant with the properties of drugs I had not even heard of (hey, I'm an anthropologist... I've read about plenty). All very promising in terms of conversation and such. I was even prepared to overlook the copy of Stupid White Men that was presented for my approval (well, some white men are stupid). But to declare Eyes Wide Shut one of the most over-rated films of all time was too much. It is, of course, one of the most under-rated films of all time.

The cool people jumped on it immediately. They are anti-Tom Cruise so their pro-Stanley Kubrick sensibility was offended that his serious directorial mastery should be wasted on such a commercial actor. The point is not that they underestimate Cruise or over-estimate Kubrick. The point is that they had damned the film before they had seen it leaving me (and one other) as the only people to see at the cinema. Their loss. Look, Kubrick did not choose Cruise and Kidman by accident. If you did not like the film the first time, watch it again (unedited) but this time watch it with Captain Subtext.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 21, 2004 06:11 AM

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I'll admit I didn't give this movie a chance. I don't know what I was expecting at the time, but it wasn't this. Maybe it's time to see it without preconceived expectations.

Of course, Captain Subtext will discuss it with my mother...

Posted by: Ray at September 21, 2004 01:13 PM

I'm one of those 'cool' people that hate Cruise's hype, However, and I hate to admit this, less-commercial performances are brilliant. (ie: Magnolia)

I remember wondering whether the movie was Kubrick's comment on Cruise and Kidman's public and private relationship. I also got the funny feeling, a suspicion, that Kubrick may not have told the actors what the 'real story' was, or rather told them a phony plot to have them act in one context while he filmed an entirely different story.

I didn't love this movie, as a matter of fact, I found it strangely off-putting.

Posted by: Rue at September 21, 2004 02:53 PM

My feeling is the film is supposed to be off-putting. Bits of it are overtly repulsive. One thought is that the party at the beginning of the film is the same party at the end...

I think Tom Cruise is objectively irritating. Good looking, rich and (formerly) married to Nicole Kidman. That said, I thought he was brilliant in Magnolia and should have won an award of some kind for it.

Posted by: Flea at September 21, 2004 10:17 PM