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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 2 March 2005
Some films need some resting time to be watched again several years later with wide open eyes to discover new dimensions in them. « Eyes Wide Shut » in one of these. Beyond the discovery by the two main characters that love is not sex, that love is not desire, that love is not passion, that love is all these, plus something undefinable that has to do with stability, with the future, with the transcendance of sex, desire, passion into the realization of a potential that is nothing but an instinct, and especially not the survival instinct, that has to do with going beyond limits not as an adventure, as a transient exhilaration but as an infrastructural building of the psyche, the mind, the soul, the real self, the ideal of the ego. In fact this love can perfectly admit some temporary, short and unconsequential moments of oblivion and excitation that will in return enhance the real love you may feel and experience for one person. Love has nothing to do with survival and everything to do with flying into new strata of being and new skies of imagination that cannot be cut off from what precedes even if they transcend it. This film thus shows how the wife has had a transient fit of desire, satisfied or not, it does matter because it intensifies the present and the future that can come from it because it is founded on the past. The husband discovers in one wild night a rite, a ritual, another side of everyday life, the reality of every-night phantasms that may have to do with something older and more fundamental than just sex in its anonymous garb of nudity and masks that would lead some to thinking that garb is garbage when it is in fact the necessary getting rid of all taboos and limitations that liberates the participants of their constant social acting by coming back to the physical and bodily basic needs in a way. It is devilish, satanic, luciferian, with encense and blind-folded music, and yet it is the only way to be able to play one's part in a society that requires everyone to be schizophrenic just to push this society towards its future. And yet, here, we feel and taste a sense of frustration and alienation in the two main characters. This cathartic trespassing is beyond limits for them. They will never be anything but ancillary servants for those who rule the world, have the real power that commands obedience and respect. The doctor will go on living in luxury because he makes homecalls and answers summons at any time of day and night, because he solves the problems of the superior class without asking questions, without wondering about ethics, without even questioning why he should be that subservient. Is it a denunciation of this ruling class of people who can do, and have to do, what all others will never even know ? Maybe, maybe not. Is it the recognition that there is a superior group of people who have been entrusted with the ruling of the world ? By whom ? Why ? How ? And then the rest of the world, even when they know this exists, have to keep their eyes shut and ignore it. And if by any chance they happen to know or learn about it, they have to forget it and bury it under a thick layer of knowledgeable oblivion. That's probably where the film should have a sequel, an extra development. What happens when this oblivion dissolves and gives way to remembrance, memory, recollection, remembering, and even revolt or rebellion ? Midlife crisis, they call it, but is it really that rejectable ? Why shouldn't everyone have the same possibility ? Why should we, ordinary ancillary servants, who have to be schizophrenic to survive in such a world and to be creative in a way, why should we not have the same need for cathartic trespassing ? The end of the film sounds bitter in the apparently recaptured equilibrium founded on pushing the recollection of what has been discovered into the inferno of forgetfulness. What will happen when these embers start burning again, when the Lucifer of this inferno of oblivion kindles the fire of recollection again ? Who is going to emerge in the husband, Abel or Cain ? Who is going to emerge in the wife, The Queen of Sheba or Phaedra ?
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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on 16 November 2012
Having read the reviews and ratings on Amazon I thought I'd give this film a go. Although the movie is sumptuously shot and convincingly acted I was not sure what Kubrick really wanted to project on the audience. Was it a sex thriller, psychological thriller, horror one? Maybe all of the aforementioned which it made it very difficult for me to put my finger on why I bought it, would watch it again or recommend it to others.
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on 1 September 2011
Kubrick has always played a trick in his movies that works so well. There's a beat - slow paced but consistent that pulls us in to the events of the story and keeps us engaged without the need for shortcuts or cliche. As he lures you in to that rhythm, a whole world of possibilities open up.

The 'bigger, faster, harder' movies could learn a lot from this sucker punch.

So when a troubled Bill Harford looks for a way to explore the jealousy caused by his wife's confession, you cannot help but squirm in your seat as he walks in to a situation that he cannot possibly comprehend. More lust and fornication than he could have ever dreamed of but at what price?

It's an artful movie and the leading cast put in well measured performances. The accompanying music from Dominic Harlan and Jocelyn Pook was spine tingling. I simply cannot rate this highly enough.
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on 15 January 2015
Nice
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on 31 January 2008
I own both versions of eyes wide shut and prefer the us version with the weird cloaked people blocking the eurosoftcore scenes which to me play silly. It gives it a more dreamlike nightmare atmosphere. Anyways , this would be a 5 star film but I don't think Kubrick actually finished it. It plays like a rough cut, it has very unkubrickian (is that a word) scenes. EX: Kubrick would never have had the static mask reveal at the end before the Cruise Entrance and swish pan on the mask. I also believe the film would have been tighter, even for Mr. Barry Lyndon (which is my favorite film of all time). Just disappointed that both versions aren't on the dvd. The Shining super edition should also include both the long US version and the under 2 hour european version.
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on 30 December 2014
I liked the film, but the storyline revolves more round Tom Cruise than Nicole Kidman
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on 7 February 2001
A great film - loved it at the flix and love it now on DVD. Includes three compelling interviews with Tommy, Nicky and Stevey (Spielberg) concerning Kubrick and EWS. The interviews were filmed after Kubrick's death and Nicole and Tom are obviously very saddened by the whole affair - touching stuff that provides genuine insight into Kubrick and EWS. The transfer is excellent - very vibrant clear and colourful, each scene is laden with so much detail that DVD offers a great opportunity to marvel at the set design etc. After only having owned a DVD player for a month and getting EWS it's made me yearn for more films of such quality on the format, unfortunately the abundance of DVDs seem to be dedicated to more mainstream fare. Anyway - get this DVD!
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on 8 November 2014
Superb acting and storyline along with beautiful bodies make this an excellent film.
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on 14 April 2015
film was a bit slow but delivery was quick & arrived safely as always
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on 18 April 2016
Loved this exploration of marriage, monogomy and sexual expression.
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