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EYES WIDE SHUT

Director: STANLEY KUBRICK

U.K.-U.S.A. • 1999 • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 35MM • 159 MIN


‘No dream is ever just a dream,’ says the doctor-hero of this film, reflecting on a chain of events triggered by his wife’s pot-induced confession of an erotic reverie that might also be a provocation directed at his complacent view of her nature. Her tale propels a jealous nocturnal adventure of his own that could be a form of sexual revenge, as fidelity, fantasy and frustration contend for supremacy in his mind.

Based on an Arthur Schnitzler novella which, in Kubrick’s words, ‘explores the ambivalence of a happy marriage’, Eyes Wide Shut, rather in the manner of John Huston’s last film The Dead, questions how well we ever know the people we love. Given the film’s theme, the casting of then-husband-and-wife Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman (both excellent) as the glamorous couple could hardly be more resonant. Long anticipated, Kubrick’s final film turned out also to be one of his most surprising: a mature, stylish rhapsody of marital fear and desire.

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