Top positive review
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Kubrick fans in the United States are FURIOUS.
on 3 June 2000
Here in the USA, petitions have circulated urging Warner Bros. to release the uncensored version of "Eyes Wide Shut" on DVD. They CLAIM the version of the film being marketed in the USA (including digitally-inserted "manikins" that obscure the more explicit scenes) is the version Kubrick intended American audiences to see! Even though the studio may have felt the need to censor the film for American theatrical release, there is no reason why they can't market an uncensored "director's cut" on DVD. Anyone in Europe, the Middle East or Japan who purchases this DVD should consider themselves lucky, because they are getting Stanley Kubrick's artistic vision as it SHOULD be seen. Here in the USA we have to make do with an inferior product, and I for one refuse to buy it.
That having been said ... "Eyes Wide Shut" is an excellent, if somewhat challenging, Kubrick film, and although initial reviews were mixed, I think in retrospect this film will be viewed as one of Kubrick's best 10, 20 years from now. In the years before this film was released, the studio would only say that "Eyes Wide Shut" was a tale about jealousy and sexual obsession. My first reaction was, "Gee, that's like saying 'A Clockwork Orange' is about juvenile delinquency!" But actually "Eyes Wide Shut" does boil down to a tale about jealousy and sexual obsession. After his wife (played by Nicole Kidman) confesses a sexual fantasy while puffing on a joint, Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) retaliates by looking for some sexual fantasies of his own, and he ends up looking in all the wrong places and gets sucked into situations he wishes he hadn't. His wife's final line in this picture, her suggestion to her hapless husband, is a real clincher.
This is an absolutely gorgeous movie, as beautifully-shot as anything Kubrick has ever done. It is also a hypnotic and cerebral film. To say "slow" would be much too simple. "Eyes Wide Shut" requires something that too many American moviegoers lack: An attention span.