Eyes Wide Shut (1999) UK, USA
Eyes Wide Shut Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Stanley Kubrick
Studio:Warner Home Video
Producer:Stanley Kubrick, Brian W. Cook, Jan Harlan
Writer:Stanley Kubrick, Arthur Schnitzler, Frederic Raphael
Rating:3.5 (752 votes)
Date Added:2010-06-23
Awards:Nominated for Golden Globe, Another 4 wins & 15 nominations
Picture Format:Widescreen
Aspect Ratio:1.85:1
Languages:English, French
Subtitles:English, French, Spanish
Features:Special Edition
Stanley Kubrick  ...  (Director)
Stanley Kubrick, Arthur Schnitzler, Frederic Raphael  ...  (Writer)
Tom Cruise  ...  Dr. William 'Bill' Harford
Nicole Kidman  ...  Alice Harford
Madison Eginton  ...  Helena Harford
Jackie Sawiris  ...  Roz
Sydney Pollack  ...  Victor Ziegler
Larry Smith  ...  Cinematographer
Leslie Lowe  ...  Illona Ziegler
Peter Benson  ...  Bandleader
Todd Field  ...  Nick Nightingale
Michael Doven  ...  Ziegler's Secretary
Sky Dumont  ...  Sandor Szavost
Louise J. Taylor  ...  Gayle (as Louise Taylor)
Stewart Thorndike  ...  Nuala
Randall Paul  ...  Harris
Julienne Davis  ...  Amanda 'Mandy' Curran
Lisa Leone  ...  Lisa
Marie Richardson  ...  Marion
Rade Serbedzija  ...  Milich (as Rade Sherbedgia)
Vinessa Shaw  ...  Domino
Sky du Mont  ...  Sandor Szavost (as Sky Dumont)
Fay Masterson  ...  Sally
Leelee Sobieski  ...  Milich's Daughter
Thomas Gibson  ...  Carl
Summary: It was inevitable that Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" would be the most misunderstood film of 1999. Kubrick died four months prior to its release, and there was no end to speculation how much he would have tinkered with the picture, changed it, "fixed" it. We'll never know. But even without the haunting enigma of the director's death--and its eerie echo/anticipation in the scene when Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) visits the deathbed of one of his patients--"Eyes Wide Shut" would have perplexed and polarized viewers and reviewers. After all, virtually every movie of Kubrick's post-U.S. career had; only 1964's "Dr. Strangelove" opened to something approaching consensus. Quite apart from the author's tinkering, Kubrick's movies themselves always seemed to change--partly because they changed us, changed the world and the ways we experienced and understood it. And we may expect "Eyes Wide Shut" to do the same. Unlike Kubrick himself, it has time.
So consider, as we settle in to live with this long, advisedly slow, mesmerizing film, how challenging and ambiguous its narrative strategy is. The source is an Arthur Schnitzler novella titled "Traumnovelle" (or "Dream Story"), and it's a moot question how much of "Eyes Wide Shut" itself is dream, from the blue shadows frosting the Harfords' bedroom to the backstage replica of New York's Greenwich Village that Kubrick built in England. Its major movement is an imaginative night-journey (even the daylight parts of it) taken by a man reeling from his wife's teasing confession of fantasized infidelity, and toward the end there is a token gesture of the couple waking to reality and, perhaps, a new, chastened maturity. Yet on some level--visually, psychologically, logically--every scene shimmers with unreality. Is everything in the movie a dream? And if so, who is dreaming it at any given moment, and why?
Don't settle for easy answers. Kubrick's ultimate odyssey beckons. And now the dream is yours. "--Richard T. Jameson"