The Information on: `Eyes Wide Shut'

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The Independent Culture
What Is It?

Stanley Kubrick's much-hyped final film, adapted from Arthur Schnitzler's 1926 book, Traumnovelle, about sexual desire. Most critics agree it is not remotely erotic, but is instead stilted, portentous and voyeuristic.

Who's In it?

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman spent two years making the film, in which they play a doctor and his wife, thrown into turmoil when her fantasy involving another man provokes Dr Harford (Tom Cruise) to make a sexual odyssey.

What They Say About It

"A dismal and overwrought piece of work... it retains all that is repressed, controlled and withdrawn in Stanley Kubrick's film-making," Anthony Quinn, The Independent.

"If you want an alienated look at intimacy that really gets somewhere, try middle-period Bergman. If you want a fond, rather than chilly, acknowledgment that love is shot through with its opposites, try Max Ophuls. But go to Eyes Wide Shut to be hypnotised by control," Adam Mars Jones, The Times.

"It's perfectly watchable - engrossing even - but neither shocking, erotic nor profound. For all its conspicuous ambitions, it's actually rather silly," Geoff Andrew, Time Out.

"As an essay on the nature of sexuality, it is vulgar and pretentious, but taken as a bizarre, hallucinatory black comic fable about married life, it is plausible and enjoyable," Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.

Where You Can See It

Eyes Wide Shut (18, 159 mins) is on general release.