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Alternative Reality, Drama - No Category

Vanilla Sky (2001)


Duration 2h 16m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story The Spanish film “Abre Los Ojos” (Open Your Eyes) by Alejandro Amenábar and Mateo Gil
Director Cameron Crowe
Writers/Script Cameron Crowe
Starring Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Kurt Russell, Jason Lee, Timothy Spall, Tilda Swinton, Michael Shannon, Johnny Galecki,

Elevator Pitch: David Aames is a man who has everything. He has a super luxury apartment which he inhabits with a beautiful young woman. In his office he is the cente of everything, guided about by a secretary with a headset. But his life changes when he meets Sofia brought to a party by his best friend and he spends the night with her.  When he leaves Sofia’s apartment in the morning he is picked up by his beautiful flatmate, Julie, who instead of driving him home, drives off a bridge, killing herself and scarring him terribly. But is any of it real?

Content: the film opens with David driving through the empty streets of New York in a Ferrari, but it is a dream. There is some nudity and sex, some of it quite violent, and some drinking at a party. There are many features of David’s luxury apartment and when he is in prison, talking to a psychiatrist you can notice that the spaces they are in are always different. He has apparently murdered someone. When David is scarred after the car crash he spends time with doctors. There is more, but no-one really agrees whether revealing anything is actually a spoiler.

A View: The critics were divided about this movie and it is generally accepted that the Spanish film was much better. My wife, who is Spanish, had seen the original and had liked it, but disliked this American version. It was nominated for one Oscar. It was expensive, really the actor’s wages I should think, and made money, but when  it comes down to it I thought it was awful. The central theme is the scarring of the central character, but there had to be a point when this happened. Without revealing too much I can’t go further, but anyway I am making it a DON’T SEE.

Additional info: The high point of the film was, for me, the opening scene where David drives a Ferrari 250 GTO through the streets of New York. There are only 36 in the world and one sold in 2018 for $48 million.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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