Vanilla Sky

David Aames: Tom Cruise
Sofia Serrano: Penelope Cruz
McCabe: Kurt Russell
Julie Gianni: Cameron Diaz
Brian Shelby: Jason Lee
Edmund Ventura: Noah Taylor
Paramount Pictures presents a film directed by Cameron Crowe. Written by Crowe, based on the film “Abre Los Ojos” by Alejandro Amenabar and Mateo Gil. Running time: 135 minutes. Rated R (for sexuality and strong language).

Central Theme
Sooner or later every human experiences the consequences of personal choices in this life and even apparently small decisions can change the course of life or result in death. Universally human conscience and subconscious actively signal this, but only those who open their eyes can see the messages.

Cruise plays David Aames, a playboy publisher leading a seemingly charmed life. His most recent playmate is his “friend” Julie Gianni (Cameron Diaz), who cares for David more than he realizes. When David meets the fetching Sofia Serrano (Penélope Cruz) at his birthday party, he awakens to the possibility of what true love can feel like, leaving Julie distraught. However, after an accident that changes David’s life, he is forced to rethink his choices. This psychological thriller becomes a roller coaster ride of flashbacks as David tries to make sense of all that has happened, relaying some surreal experiences to a psychiatrist (Kurt Russell), after being charged with murder. The film’s message may differ for each viewer, but it does make one bold point: every action has consequences. (Paramount)/
[You know you’re in trouble when the moviegoer is relieved to see the cutesy romantic theme broken up by death, disfigurement and destruction, but as is often true in real life – it is in the tragedy that lessons are learned. Roger Ebert refers to “Vanilla Sky” as a “scrupulously moral picture” and this poorly constructed film is nevertheless thought provoking.]

Beliefs num
–There are consequences for life choices. David makes some very bad decisions in life seemingly without consequences. In meeting Sofia (which means wisdom in Greek), David has a chance to turn his life around, but then one more small, bad decision turns out to be the one that really matters.
–Through Julie’s character we see that sex is more than a physical transaction. “When you sleep with someone, your body makes a promise whether you do or not.”
–Even a superficial person like David is preoccupied with the question of death and mortality. The humorous interweaving of cryonics ads/interviews and the repeated story of Benny “the dog who came back from death” lace the film.
–Outward appearances do not reveal the true face of a human. The very popular David has a recurring dream of being alone. The once handsome David wears a mask to hide his deformities and is asked to open his eyes (which forms a connection to Cruise’s mask in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. Both films eerily connect to C.S. Lewis’ retelling of the psyche myth in “Till We Have Faces.”
–The unexamined life is not worth living

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Does your every action and decision ultimately have a consequence?
–What is happiness to you?
–When you sleep with someone is there a promise involved?
–How does the phrase “open your eyes” connect to your own life story (Something you needed to see, but didn’t until it was too late?)

Provocative Quotes byline
–‘Open your eyes.’
==opens and closes the movie
–‘If God calls, tell Him I’m busy.’
==David, on the way to play racquetball – next thing that happens is he almost gets hit by a Mac truck
–‘When you sleep with someone, your body makes a promise whether you do or not.
==Julie takes the relational message of sex seriously unlike the ‘citizen dildo’ David
–‘What is happiness to you?’
–‘Do you believe in God?’
==Julie asks David just before her suicidal crash that also changes the course of David’s life
–‘Even in my dreams I know I am about to wake up to reality.’
–‘Every minute you have a new chance to turn it all around.’

Posted in Movies, Staublog in December 14, 2001 by | No Comments »

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