"Don't you think one of the charms of marriage is that it makes deception a necessity for both parties'"
- Sandor Szavost (Sky Dumont) to Alice Harford (Nicole Kidman)
"...Riveting, thematically probing, richly atmospheric....A deeply inquisitive consideration of the extent of trust and mutual knowledge between a man and a woman..."
Sight and Sound - 09/??/1999
"...Endlessly fascinating....[Kidman gives] a raw and powerful performance..."
Total Film - 10/01/1999
"...EYES WIDE SHUT is unquestionably the uncompromised artistic statement Kubrick intended to release, with every frame meticulously and elegantly crafted..."
New York Times - 06/16/1999
"...This astonishing last film is a spellbinding addition to the Kubrick canon....[A] brilliantly provocative tour de force..."
Premiere - 09/01/1999
"...A movie that deals honestly and disquietingly with genuine adult themes....For anyone with the eyes to see it, EYES will reveal itself as an uncanny masterpiece..."
USA Today - 07/16/1999
"...EYES WIDE SHUT is a dreamy movie....Kidman is so powerful baring her soul in an extended monologue that next year's best-actress Oscar could be hers..."
Los Angeles Times - 07/16/1999
"...[When Kubrick] cuts words to a minimum and uses pure cinematic technique to go to the core of his emotions, what results has the powerful, lacerating impact of inescapable nightmare..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 07/16/1999
"...EYES WIDE SHUT is like an erotic daydream....Kubrick pays special attention to each individual scene..."
Stanley Kubrick's final film is a mature, highly intelligent, thrilling masterpiece of sexual obsession and marital (in)fidelity. Tom Cruise stars as Bill Harford, a doctor who becomes obsessed with a sexual fantasy that his wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), confesses to him. Although the fantasy (involving a naval officer) occurred only in Alice's mind, Bill can't get it out of his own head; his obsession leads him through a series of potential sexual encounters, each one surrounded by the specter of death. His whole world threatens to unravel as he falls deeper and deeper into a web of mystery, lies, and deceit.
Kubrick's film breathes with vivid blues, reds, and blacks, the threat of illicit sex and death lurking around every corner. Cruise and Kidman, who are married in real life, are utterly convincing as a happy couple suddenly forced to reexamine their faith in each other. Sidney Pollack, Todd Field, Julienne Davis, Marie Richardson, and Vinessa Shaw sparkle in minor roles. Based on the novella TRAUMNOVELLE by Arthur Schnitzler, EYES WIDE SHUT is a brilliant examination of the psychological nature of sex and marriage, of faith and faithlessness, of obsession and desire. Kubrick said that his last film (he died shortly before the film opened) was "my best film ever;" while that is debatable, there is no doubting that the film is a splendid finale to a glorious career.
Description by Warner Home Video:
Stanley Kubrick's daring last film is a bracing psychosexual journey, a riveting suspense tale and a career milestone for stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Cruise plays a doctor who plunges into an erotic foray that threatens his marriage - and may ensnare him in a murder mystery - after his wife's (Kidman) admission of sexual longings. As the story sweeps from doubt and fear to self-discovery and reconciliation, Kubrick orchestrates it with masterful flourishes. Graceful tracking shots, rich colors, startling images: bravura traits that make Kubrick a filmmaker for the ages are here to keep everyone's eyes wide open.
Based On A Novel |
Essential Cinema |
Theatrical release: July 16, 1999.
Filmed at Deluxe Pinewood Studios, Norfolk, and the Home Counties, England. Most of what looks like New York were sets built in the studio or rear-projected shots of the city.
Stanley Kubrick died on March 7, 1999, shortly after showing a preliminary final cut to the studio. The studio later threatened to make cuts to avoid an NC-17 rating, but Tom Cruise wouldn't allow anyone to cut any part of Kubrick's film. Instead, computerized objects and characters were added to scenes to block some overtly sexual shots and preserve an R rating. The film was left completely untouched for its European version.
Marie Richardson took over the role that Jennifer Jason Leigh originally began, and Sidney Pollack took over for Harvey Keitel; both Keitel and Leigh had scheduling conflicts that forced them to withdraw--after some scenes had been shot, so retakes were necessary. Pollack originally introduced Cruise and Kidman to Kubrick.
Leon Vitali not only played Red Cloak but is credited as assistant to the director and with casting.
Lisa Leone not only played Lisa but is credited as set decorator and second unit production manager.
The scene that features Chris Isaak's song "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing" was also used as a theatrical trailer at a major exhibitor convention (ShoWest). It was controversial because the clip included nudity; within days the clip was being circulated on the Internet.
The soundtrack also features performances by the Victor Silvester Orchestra, the Oscar Peterson Trio, and Roy Gerson.
Brian W. Cook served as coproducer and first assistant director and played the tall butler.
Christiane Kubrick (Stanley's wife) and Katharina Hobbs contributed original paintings to the film.
The password to get into the orgy is "Fidelio," which is not only the name of a Beethoven opera but also means "fidelity," which is one of the major themes of the film.
The two women who clutch on to Bill at the Zieglers' party say that they want to take him to the end of the rainbow; when Bill needs a costume to get into the orgy, he gets the costume at Rainbow Fashions.
More than a decade before making EYES WIDE SHUT, Kubrick said of the novel, "It explores the sexual ambivalence of a happy marriage and tries to equate the importance of sexual dreams and might-have-beens with reality."
Shooting began on November 1996 and ran through March 1998.
Estimated budget: $65 million.
Arthur Schnitzler's source novella, TRAUMNOVELLE, was set in 19th-century Vienna. Schnitzler also wrote the play THE BLUE ROOM, in which Nicole Kidman starred on Broadway and London's West End and also featured a highly anticipated nude scene.
Among the rumors that circulated during the making of the film was that Cruise shot a scene wearing women's underwear.
The film screened at the 1999 Venice Film Festival.
EYES WIDE SHUT, initially met with critical disdain, was the first Kubrick film to open at number one at the box office. However, Kubrick was not alive to see it happen.