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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: shutting my eyes to ‘Eyes Wide Shut’

More controversy from the summer of 1999: my review of Eyes Wide Shut generated tons of mail from readers, many of whom disagreed with my take on the film:

Bill is so stunned to discover that his wife is a sexual being in her own right, that her sexuality does not exist solely in relationship to him, that he… well, he doesn’t actually do anything. Instead, he wanders around in a daze for the longest two and a half hours I have ever experienced. Bill doesn’t act — he is acted upon, and neither Cruise nor Kubrick give us any clue what Bill is searching for in his wanderings. He allows himself to be picked up by a prostitute; improbable coincidence leads him to an unlikely orgy that’s a cross between The Story of O and an old Bela Lugosi horror film; through it all, Cruise, surprisingly docile, never even makes us wonder whether his Bill is contemplating doing anything other than watch.

review of Eyes Wide Shut, posted 07.19.99

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