Stanley Kubrick has made another movie that will bore the hell out of anyone that isn't a fan of Stanley Kubrick movies. Eyes Wide Shut is "Stanley-paced," with the traditional snail-crawl directing style he perfected in 2001, back when the year "2001" was still considered "the distant future." Realistically, this film will be perceived as "boring" by nearly anyone who isn't as cool as me. Yet, if you have attained my level of coolness, you will be enthralled by the poetic unfolding of a serious psychological thriller. Not one of those "thrillers" that were spawned by Fatal Attraction or Silence of the Lambs (I do like both of those films, it's just their offspring that I can't handle), but one which is totally and utterly fresh. Sure, there's a bit of The Game here and Debbie Does Dallas there, but, overall, this is something different. Much like that aforementioned 2001 which came before it.
It's hard to compare Stanley's final film to anything but 2001. It contains the same melodrama, mystery and unresolved plot-points that made us all (well, at least all of us who are as cool as me) drop our jaws in awe. I walked out of the theater with that indescribable 2001 feeling. "It's slow as hell, but it's one of the best movies ever made." It's an odd sensation, and if you don't fall asleep by the middle, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. If nothing else, the acting should keep you from dozing.
Both Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman deserve Oscars. Even if Tom is gay, and Nicole is a lesbian, they pull off the heterosexual bit with great ease. I felt for them whenever they asked me to feel. I became tense whenever their relationship tightened up. I was relaxed whenever they let themselves go. After 2 hours and 40 minutes, I was convinced. Convinced that these characters were real, and that this story could actually happen.
By the end, I wanted things to work out. I wanted this all to be a bad dream. I feel Mr. Kubrick felt the same way, only he never had the chance to watch his final dream become a reality.
I'd give it 10 Juicy squirts out of a possible 10
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Copyright 2001 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]