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4.3 out of 5 stars
48
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 5 August 2017
What could accurately be described as a mystery,drama,sci-fi,buddy movie /love story ,the director Amenabar handles these potentially conflicting genres very well & being aware that nothing ages faster than the future (see Lawnmower Man & Strange Days) keeps the sci-fi elements to a minimum so the film hasn't aged particularly. I found the film constantly interesting and with visual style that generally avoids flashiness and also for viewers who don't like 'foreign films' there's nothing to put you off ( other than the well presented subtitles)The real surprise being that a film that had an American remake with a name star (Cruz) reprising her original role and has generally good reviews and interest in the director is the lack of any extras which I think would be of intrest in a film that continues to get viewers, new & re-viewers like myself.Also worth taking a look at is this directors previous film 'Tesis'.
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on 16 February 2003
This mesmerizing and origional Spanish film from director Alejandro Amenabar is about the life we dream of, and the life we're given, and the manner in which it is told is nothing short of brilliant.
Eduardo Noriega portrays a shallow bed hopping young man named Ceaser who has never given a second thought to real love until he falls for Sophia, who just happens to be the girl his best friend brings to his birthday party.
Penelope Cruz gives a sexy and luminous performance in her own language as the charming Sophia. Contrasting her is Najwa Nimri as the overtly sexual Nuria, the one night stand who has Ceaser's shallow number and refuses to just go away. She plays on his weaker personality by accusing him of being scared to take a ride with her for one last fling and the aftermath is a mind altering journey.
An apparently disfigured Ceaser finds himself in the criminal psychiatric ward after being accused of a murder he can't remember anything about. He tries to sort through his dreams, and possibly his memories, with the help of Antonio (Cheta Lera) and begins to slowly unravel what is real and what is imagined. To reveal more would ruin the journey for the viewer.
This film is a terrific thriller that ultimately becomes a heartfelt drama of what can happen when we put the emphasis on the shallow and realize the need for tenderness and love too late. The performances are solid, the fawn like grace of Cruz a standout, lifting this film far above its inferior American remake. The ending will linger with the viewer a long time.

This film is a fine argument for expanding your film library to include great foreign films such as this one. Pick this up as soon as you can.
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on 15 February 2006
Hollywood & Tom Cruise why don´t you keep your hands of what you don´t understand. Abre los Ojos is the the original Spanish film version of this clever if rather complex storyline. It´s convincingly acted,with Penelope Cruz now getting rather unfairly biased credit for the film´s success. Vanilla Sky was not half so good.
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on 5 February 2010
Alejandro Amenabar has gone on to create great films like The Others and The Sea Inside but it will surely take a stroke of genius and some good fortune to make a film that is as dramatic, enthralling and brilliant as Abre Los Ojos. Its really quite hard to understand why Mr. Cruise though he might be able to upstage Eduardo Noriega in the role of Cesar or why he saw the need to do a remake? So that the Americans wouldn't need to read sub-titles and he could pull out a good performance based entirely on Noriega's one would presume.
Its a shame the remake was made and that more people seem to know the Vanilla Sky film than the far superior original. Open Your Eyes is full of wonderful performances from both cast and crew. Eduardo Noriega, Pénelope Cruz, Chete Lera, Fele Martinez, Najwa Nimri all give their characters exactly what was needed. There is no over acting but a realism and simplisity to the characters despite the unclarity of reality within the story. Very rarely do I see this in American cinema.
As for the crew, Amenábar had done a wonderful job, from writing this intricate script to the beautiful way its filmed. Hans Burman the Cinematographer has achieved a wonderful look for the film which uses light and darkness as implications of Cesar's state of mind and to hint at what is reality and what may not be.

I won't go into detailing the narrative as its more enjoyable for the viewer to watch this film with an open mind. The less you know the better. Sit down and let a great story unravel in front of you and In the same fashion of Amenabar's other films this is done at a steady pace, deliberately reeling you in, captivating you till it reaches its intense climax!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 September 2010
Mostly fascinating, if occasionally a bit too silly and far-fetched for it's own good. Multiple realities and questions of perception always fascinate me, and this was no exception. Additionally, most of the performances were very, very strong.

But it did have a few moments of seeming too pleased with itself for how clever it was, and the end made me wonder if the whole thing wasn't a bit more shallow than I was giving it credit for being.

None-the-less, beautifully shot, and full of interesting ideas and unexpected twists. I should probably see it again; I liked it quite a bit on first viewing, and it's one of those complex, challenging films that might grow even better on repeated viewings.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 September 2010
Mostly fascinating, if occasionally a bit too silly and far-fetched for it's own good. Multiple realities and questions of perception always fascinate me, and this was no exception. Additionally, most of the performances were very, very strong.

But it did have a few moments of seeming too pleased with itself for how clever it was, and the end made me wonder if the whole thing wasn't a bit more shallow than I was giving it credit for being.

None-the-less, beautifully shot, and full of interesting ideas and unexpected twists. I should probably see it again; I liked it quite a bit on first viewing, and it's one of those complex, challenging films that might grow even better on repeated viewings.
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on 29 December 2004
I first saw this film whilst living out in Spain for a year. When I saw it it was in its 23rd week on release at the cinema, which should say something in itself for its quality.
Having a subtitled version available is fantastic as it opens the film up to non-Spanish speakers. This is important as it knocks the spots off Vanilla Sky. Every plot change in the latter film, however slight, detracts from the gripping nature of the original. Has Cesar, the man who has it all [nearly], lost it all?
This will keep a novice viewer guessing for some time, and even for viewers who know the story the film i so well-made as to demand repeat viewings.
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on 17 September 2008
I first saw this film many years ago at a Spanish film festival in Manchester and the two hours flew by.

I can't really give you the story in full as I am not one to spoil a film, however I can tell you while you watch this film you are constantly wondering which of the realities you are presented with is true, or if any of them are true.

The film centres on a rich kid played by Eduardo Noriega he is in prison and may or may not be horribly disfigured, has been accussed of murder of a woman but it is not fully clear which woman, it seems to switch between two women or is he just insane??? You decide.

The film does build to a great climax on the roof of a high building as the main character tries to piece everything together, having to risk his life to test what reality is.

I really enjoyed this ride. Some good acting in this film Eduardo Noriega is excellent and Penelope Cruz is good as she always is in the Spanish speaking films she does.

Well worth a look.
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VINE VOICEon 5 December 2005
"Open Your Eyes" is the Spanish language film that Hollywood remade a few years later into "Vanilla Sky" featuring Tom Cruise. The latter film is pretty much a direct remake, with the plot essentially the same and Penelope Cruz even reprises her role in "Open Your Eyes" as the delectable Sofia, the love interest of the Cesar (played by Eduardo Noriega), whose car crash and subsequent facial disfigurement precipitate a mental breakdown. "Open Your Eyes" is less flashy and noisy than "Vanilla Sky" and has a more authentic feel to it. It is essentially a science-fiction film, not unlike "The Matrix" in structure, although it does not reveal itself as such until towards the end of the film ."Open Your Eyes" uses confusing dream sequences and flashbacks until the viewer is left finding it difficult to distinguish between reality and fantasy, just like the main character in the film. The only part of "Open Your Eyes" which "Vanilla Sky" significantly improved upon was the quality of the make up used to create Cesar's facial disfigurement; at times it looked as if he was wearing two masks and this did detract a little from the quality of the film.
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on 13 December 2010
If you are a fan of psychology and films such as donnie dark and the butterfly effect, then this is certainly a film for you.
I won't go into the storyline as such because personally I always feel it ruins the surprises and you can guess what happens from what others say.
Anyway, this film is definitely something very different to any other film. The story is deep and always full of many surprises, usually with enough guesses you can always see the end of a storyline, however with open your eyes... well it does exactly what it says. You'll need to open your eyes to understand this film.
I had my doubts at first and although I am starting to have quite a collection of DVDs by now, I in fact am rarely impressed by a well pulled together storyline.
Only a Genius, or someone very crazed could have come up with something quite like this...
I leave you to make your own decision, nevertheless I would recommend. Enjoy!
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