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Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut
Short plot summary

Tom Cruise (Dr Bill) and Nicole Kidman play a married couple.

In a pot-smoking honesty session, she tells him that she once almost threw their relationship away with a guy in uniform she saw once. Dr Bill is then haunted by this mental image. He toys with the idea of sexual experimentation. Bill meets a prostitute, but does not sleep with her.

A piano player friend plays at a party, they arranged to meet for a drink. At the same party Dr Bill saves the life of a woman who has slept with his friend (Victor Ziegler).

On meeting his piano player friend, Bill discovers that his friend is to play blindfolded at some kind of sex party. As they sit drinking the piano player receives the password (Fidelio).

Intrigued, Bill persuades his friend to tell him where the party is. It is a cloak and mask party... he gets the gear and goes...

Please tell me the ending

Bill uses the password to get into the party with no problems, but there is something amiss. A woman (also masked) attempts to warn him of danger. He tours the grand building and witnesses sex everywhere. He does not leave.

She warns him again, but he is confronted in a room in a court-type set up with everyone wearing masks (some horror masks). He is asked for a second password. This he does not know. He is unmasked, but is allowed to leave after the woman who warned him offers to take his punishment.

She is later found dead. His piano player friend is clearly in trouble after telling him about the party and password. Once again Bill is warned not to investigate further.

Ziegler tells him that he knows everything. Bill is clearly worried now, especially, when on returning to his house, the mask that he lost at the party ends up on the pillow next to his wife. He confesses all and they both express their love for each other.

What our panel of critics thought

"Rich colors throughout, horrible be-masked incidents, superb writing, superb acting, a metaphor so shocking it will send you straight to the anti-depression tablets. Nightmares assured for the next 50 years. A triumph!"

"Oh, that everyone is having depraved sex while I am not routine. Ha ha ha. I have always been lying about the not having the sex bit to my friends anyway. I am a devil with two horns with the monster in my trouser!"

"I always thought masked cloaked balls only occurred in loud screechy operas, obviously I am mistaken. The guy who kept banging that single note deserves a good kick in the unmentionables, nonetheless."

"A final gasp from the master. What is he trying to tell us? He is trying to tell us of society's deceits with regards to sex and what is really the truth about anything. No wonder he died soon after, the old boy must have been exhausted."

"So, in this complex movie metaphor am I the guy behind the mask, the Tom Cruise character, or the naked woman who gets her brains knocked out?"

"A surprisingly dated view of women, Dr Bill."

"Why is the piano player blindfolded when everyone is wearing masks? It makes no sense at all. Is this metaphor overload? (The entertainer is never the entertained?)"

Dr Bravisimo-Encore II Movie Review

As my readers throughout the world would expect, I came to this movie wanting to hate every f-word-filled crevice of such a movie that finished off movie legend Stanley Kubrick.

However, I could not hate it. Stanley, the genius, pulled me in by my testicles and kept a firm, athletic grip until the very last scene. A mesmerisingly shockingly important movie; a movie made more profound by the knowledge that soon after he died. Is this Stanley giving one last raspberry to society's lies and sexual deceits? Me thinks so.

Has not everyone fallen passionately in love with the stranger as we pass through the uncertainties of our lives? That quick glance while walking up the escalators of our existence?

The movie is a sumptuous masked metaphor of society's exterior crustiness whilst behind the scenes it is bonking like bunny rabbits on heat. A triumphant movie filled with the spirit of a great director. One that will be missed forever and a day.

Quotable quotes (real)

"You're very sure of yourself aren't you?"

Other comments

A memorable movie, made more intriguing by the cataclysmic marriage breakdown between Cruise and Kidman shortly after this movie ended, and, of course, the death of director Stanley Kubrick. He will be achingly missed.

Date of review

October 17 , 2002

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