EYES WIDE SHUT: DVD
Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) and his wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), are invited (again) to the glamorous, exotic, sexually charged Christmas party given by one of Bill's wealthy patients, Victor Ziegler (Sydney Pollack). Events and people at the party trigger several actions: Alice reveals a sexually confronting fantasy, which propels Bill into unchartered sexual territory away from her. The seed of her untamed feelings and his imagination become a heady brew that he massages in his imagination, which lands him in compromising circumstances - an orgy among masked and mysterious strangers in a remote mansion. His fascination for stray sex - as an antidote for his wife's fantasies - is stymied by his reluctance. And the mind is a powerful player: it doesn't always stay in tune with the heart.
Review by Louise Keller:
Alluring and relentlessly delving, Eyes Wide Shut is an intellectual erotic exploration of reality, its veneer and the flounces of fantasy. Kubrick's much anticipated work is visually lush, extraordinarily detailed and a stimulating, satisfying experience. Complex and filled with symbolism, emotionally I am intrigued. The hit is in its stimulus, and in the fascinating pursuit down the dark corridors of the mind. We clearly see life's superficiality. We work, we play, we flirt, we indulge. But what of our fantasies? Are they dreams or do they control us?
A touch of real life voyeurism with on-screen mystique fascinates in the casting of the then-married Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise; Kidman bewitches, Cruise charms. The show role belongs to Kidman, who combines a seductive playfulness with a beguiling vulnerability. Hers is a riveting star performance. Marriage comes under the magnifying glass: 'One of the charms of marriage,' says a would-be admirer 'is that it allows the deception necessary to both parties.' Balancing the see-saw of intimate tell-all and selective disclosure is complexity personified.
Drama and eroticism are showcased in the magnificent orgy scene, resplendent in its concept, production design and execution of naked bodies juxtapositioned beside the symbolic masks. Melancholy weaves its complex note throughout the film, both emotionally and musically. The musical journey is complex; reflective, soulful timbre evolves suddenly to the stark four note motif with piercing discords.
Here is a truly visceral cinematic experience. Filmed in a golden glaze of superficiality, the film looks wonderful with deeply saturated colours, and lingering direction, allowing leisurely evolution of plot and character. Time is taken; we pause, watch, anticipate; we are not disappointed. Like opening Pandora's box, just one moment of unguarded honesty, unleashes demons that compellingly lead into the chasm of debauchery. Intrigue, anguish, obsession and jealousy are magnets. Compelling and tantalising, Eyes Wide Shut is unforgettable.
DVD special features include Kubrick's 1998 DGA D.W.Griffith Award acceptance speech, an interview gallery and two documentaries about Kubrick and his films.
Published December 6, 2007
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EYES WIDE SHUT: DVD (MA15+)
CAST: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Marie Richardson, Madison Eginton, Jackie Sawris, Rade Serbedzija
PRODUCER: Stanley Kubrick
DIRECTOR: Stanley Kubrick
SCRIPT: Stanley Kubrick, Frederic Raphael (inspired by Traumnovelle by Arthur Schnitzler)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Larry Smith
EDITOR: Nigel Galt
MUSIC: Jocelyn Pook
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Les Tomkins, Roy Walker
RUNNING TIME: 160 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 5, 1999
SPECIAL FEATURES: Channel 4 documentary: The Last Movie: Stanley Kubrick and Eyes Wide Shut; Lost Kubrick: The Unfinished Films of Stanley Kubrick; Kubrick's 1998 DGA D.W Griffith Award acceptance speech; Interview gallery featur ing Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and Steven Spielberg; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video
DVD RELEASE: December 5, 2007