Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

(In theaters, July 1999) I don’t worship Stanley Kubrick and this film won’t change my mind. Long-anticipated and released in the midst of controversy, this is a movie that actually lets people see what they want in it. It is a bore; it is a masterpiece. It’s filled with undressed women; it’s hugely unexciting (The most erotic scene is, curiously, a kiss between two fully-clothed adults). It’s a love story; it’s a conspiracy thriller. It’s beautiful; it’s ugly. It’s too long; it’s too short. It’s easy to see that Eyes Wide Shut is the kind of movie that has it both ways, by being simultaneously an empty disappointment and a multi-layered success. Me, I’m ambivalent: I thought it was too long, focused on the wrong story (the couple rather than the secret society), not as hard-hitting as it could have been and not as well-scripted at it should have been, but also found it beautifully directed, with involving questions, good acting and a half-naked Leelee Sobieski. Oh, pervert that I am…

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