Nothing much, in beautiful wrapping
Review of Eyes Wide Shut (1999) movie, by Stefan Stenudd
I gather that Kubrick did not have such a premonition, or he just felt that there was not much to add to his fabulous suite of movies.
This one is a long series of beautiful sceneries, and beautiful people parading, but there's really not much happening. Not much to be shocked about, either. Tom Cruise's character is bewildered to find a secret group committed to rituals of a frank but also quite conventional sexual nature. Why would that be so unsettling? He is also perplexed to learn that his wife has fantasies of unfaithfulness, and more so to find that he can have them, too. Huh?
I guess the movie would have been much more interesting, if instead we had been following Nicole Kidman, playing his wife, on similar adventures. Since she was more at ease with those thirsts within herself, the development would no doubt have been more interesting. Kidman also handles her role with much more delicacy, enriching it, while Cruise mainly stands around looking stiff — well, the script might not have given him much else to do.
This whole film would have been much better off, if directed by Fellini. He would have known to go beyond the middle class morality, and fill the scenes with such stuff as of which dreams are really woven.
15 January 2003
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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.