Eyes Wide Shut (1999)


Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) and his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman) are at a party one night with other wealthy professionals. Bill is seen by his wife flirting with two models. Alice is seen by Bill dancing with an older man. Later that night when they return home they are relaxing on the bed smoking a joint. They begin to talk about the party. Alice asks Bill if he fucked the two models, Bill says he didn’t however Alice doesn’t believe him. Bill mentions to Alice about the older man she was dancing with, Alice says he did want to sleep with her. Bill tells her that he doesn’t believe Alice would cheat on him as women require love before giving up themselves. When Alice confesses she once thought about cheating with a Naval officer she saw one night, Bill storms out.


As Bill wanders the streets, he finds himself coming across some strange people and situations. He attends a house call, where the deceased daughter confesses her love for Bill. Bill tells her that the recent passing of her father has played with her emotions, and that she doesn’t know what she’s saying. Bill leaves the apartment and continues on his walk around the city. He also meets a prostitute who tells Bill she wants to have sex with him but that she has AIDS. Bill tells her that he’s flattered but it couldn’t happen. Things take a sinister turn when Bill meets up with an old friend playing piano in a jazz bar. His friend, Nick (Todd Field), tells Bill that he will be playing at a sex party for the wealthy later that night. He tells Bill that he doesn’t know what goes on there as he is always blindfolded. Bill pesters Nick for details on the party as he wants to see for himself what goes on. However his quest brings him perilously close to the dark side of society, and even closer to death.


This is one of those Stanley Kubrick films that many people hate. I however, love it. I remember hearing about it on release, mainly as it was around the same time Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were having marital problems. Kubrick directs this with the same attention to detail he brought to all of his other movies. It gets right to it, and I was utterly absorbed by Bill Harford’s descent into the seedier side of the upper classes. Okay Tom Cruise may be a fucking loon, but he is a solid actor and always brings his A game.


This is essentially Tom Cruise’s movie. Nicole Kidman is here to further the plot in places and that’s it. I can’t really slate her acting as she doesn’t really have that much to do. The supporting cast also includes the late, great Sydney Pollack as Victor Ziegler, a wealthy lawyer with a penchant for sex. Definitely worth a look. Don’t read any of the shit Kubrick elitists give it. Pick up a copy and watch it for yourself. Enjoy!




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