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Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Cruise. Kidman. Kubrick.

Original Title : Eyes Wide Shut
Director : Stanley Kubrick
Writer : Arthur Schnitzler
Stanley Kubrick
Frederic Raphael
Genre : Thriller
Drama
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Brian W. Cook , Jan Harlan , Stanley Kubrick
Music : Jocelyn Pook
MPAA Rating : Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug-related material.
IMDB ID : 0120663
Official site : http://www.eyeswideshut.com/
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poster for "Eyes Wide Shut" by Stanley Kubrick (1999)
Eyes Wide Shut (1999) - Stanley Kubrick
 

Starring

Tom Cruise Dr. William 'Bill' Harford
Nicole Kidman Alice Harford
Madison Eginton Helena Harford
Jackie Sawiris Roz
Sydney Pollack Victor Ziegler
Leslie Lowe Illona
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
Kevin Connealy Lou Nathanson
Marie Richardson Marion
Thomas Gibson Carl
Mariana Hewett Rosa
Dan Rollman Rowdy college kid
Gavin Perry Rowdy college kid
Chris Pare Rowdy college kid
Adam Lias Rowdy college kid
Christian Clarke Rowdy college kid
Kyle Whitcombe Rowdy college kid
Gary Goba Naval officer
Vinessa Shaw Domino
Florian Windorfer Maître d' - Café Sonata
Rade Serbedzija Mr. Milich (as Rade Sherbedgia
Togo Igawa Japanese man
Eiji Kusuhara Japanese man
Leelee Sobieski Milich's daughter
Sam Douglas Cab driver
Angus MacInnes Gateman
Abigail Good Mysterious woman/Masked party principal
Brian W. Cook Tall butler
Leon Vitali Red cloak
Carmela Marner Waitress at Gillespie's
Alan Cumming Desk clerk
Fay Masterson Sally
Phil Davies Stalker
Cindy Dolenc Girl at Sharky's
Clark Hayes Hospital receptionist
Treva Etienne Morgue orderly
Colin Angus Masked party principal
Karla Ashley Masked party principal
Kathryn Charman Masked party principal
James Demaria Masked party principal
Anthony Desergio Masked party principal
Janie Dickens Masked party principal
Laura Fallace Masked party principal
Vanessa Fenton Masked party principal
Georgina Finch Masked party principal
Peter Godwin Masked party principal
Joanna Heath Masked party principal
Lee Henshaw Masked party principal
Ateeka Poole Masked party principal
Adam Pudney Masked party principal
Sharon Quinn Masked party principal
Ben De Saumserez Masked party principal (as Ben De Sausmarez
Emma Lou Sharratt Masked party principal
Paul Spelling Masked party principal
Matthew Thompson Masked party principal
Dan Travers Masked party principal
Russell Trigg Masked party principal
Kate Whalin Masked party principal
Heather Carter-Drake (uncredited
Emilio D'Alessandro Man at newsstand (uncredited
Donna Ewin Masked buxom girl (uncredited
Tres Hanley Coffee shop manager (uncredited
Alex Hobbs Boy in examination room (uncredited
Christiane Kubrick Woman sitting behind Dr. Harford at Cafe Sonata (uncredited
Katharina Kubrick Mother of boy in examination room (uncredited
 

Plot

Sexual jolts disrupt Manhattan physician Bill Harford's equilibrium. At an elegant Christmas party, two "models" hit on him, he watches a Lothario try to pick up his tipsy wife, he aids a woman sprawled naked in a bathroom after an overdose. The next night, his wife reveals sexual fantasies with a stranger, a dead patient's daughter throws herself at him, as he walks, brooding, six teen boys hurl homophobic insults at him, a streetwalker takes him to her flat, he interrupts men having a sex party with a girl barely in her teens. His odyssey, which next takes him into a world of wealthy sex play at a masked ball of hedonism, threatens his life, his self-respect, and his marriage.
 

Comments

It's a shame that this film was promoted as a "hot" erotic thriller. Kubrick would not have allowed that marketing campaign to go forward had he been alive. Sure there's a lot of eroticism in this movie, but those who go to it looking for sexual thrills are going to be (and were) sorely disappointed. The events in this movie are triggered by the protagonist's wife's revelation that she almost slept with another man. This kicks off a range of emotions and prompts him to re-evaluate his sexual relationship with her, subsequently leading to a trip through his sexual SUBconscious. This is the critical point that all too many viewers miss, though it's so overtly surreal I don't see how one could miss it. None of this is real! It's called Eyes Wide SHUT for a reason! All of our protagonists' "encounters" represent manifestations of his sexual fantasies and fears. His fantasies include group sex, sex with a teenager, sex with a prostitute, sex without strings. His fears include disease, homosexuality (notice the brutal and brief encounter with the gay-bashing gang), and most of all: discovery. Discovery of his hidden fantasies, which might reveal his true nature to the world. Discovery that he is really a pretender, doesn't really belong, and is not worthy after all. This latter is probably universal, and in his case while it has sexual dimensions it is not purely sexual. In the end he realizes that his fantasies are just fantasies, at least some of his fears are legitimate, and that instead of just fantasizing about sex he should actually have sex with his wife. Not rocket science here, but plenty of people need reminding of this from time to time, and it's a well-told story. I was fortunate enough to first see this movie in theaters overseas, and was spared the atrocity of digital editing to make things less explicit. David Lynch did the same thing more recently in Mulholland Drive, and I hope that this is not the beginning of a trend. Given all of the explicit gore and brutality in movies, the level of sexual explicitness that triggers the censors is simply laughable. Frankly, having seen the un-edited version, I didn't think it was a big deal. One can't dismiss criticisms that the nudity was all female and many of the women were depicted as sexual objects, but this movie is quite pointedly a trip through a fairly conventional man's sexual unconscious and necessarily told from a male point of view. So none of these things should be a surprise. It would be very interesting to see a comparable exploration of the female sexual subconscious by an accomplished woman director, though I'm not holding my breath that the Hollywood establishment will allow that to happen soon.
 
poster for "Eyes Wide Shut"
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Eyes Wide Shut (1999) - Stanley Kubrick
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