Eyes Wide Open
Having inherited the majority vote in a massive publishing firm as well as a fortune, the handsome David Aames (Tom Cruise) has it all. He is friends with the rich and famous, throws lavish parties, works barely a few hours a day and his sexy friend Julie (Cameron Diaz) is one hell of a friend with benefits. Except Julie is quite possessive and is less than impressed when David meets Sofia (Penelope Cruz) and it is clear that he is fall in love with her. Betrayed Julie invites David for a ride and crashes the car, seriously injuring and disfiguring the handsome David and killing herself in the process. Now stuck behind a mask he finds himself being questioned by psychiatrist McCabe (Kurt Russell) over the events of his life.
Let me describe a few scenes in "Vanilla Sky". The first one is a fantastic sequence where after waking up David heads out on to the streets to find it completely abandoned, it is a dream sequence which leads to him waking up again and in bed with Julie and by Julie I mean a seriously smoking hot Cameron Diaz playing to many a man's fantasy. And it all seems kind of okay as "Vanilla Sky" seems quite normal as we get thrown in to the fantastic life of David where he is a charming playboy with no money worries and basically a life which I am sure many a man would like, other than a surreal dream.
But then we have this narration which occasionally crops up, as if we are privy to David having sessions with a shrink over his life. And then out of nowhere we are in some heavily secured cell and there is David in prison garb and with a mask covering face as he talks to McCabe, a psychiatrist whilst a guard watches what is going on. And at which point we ask what is going on, where do these two stories connect? What happened to David that his fabulous life is ruined? What are those other scenes about when we go off on a tangent?
Yes "Vanilla Sky" is not a straight forward movie and it is different to what many would expect from Cameron Crowe as it forces you to think, to pay attention and in truth maybe it expects to much from an audience who turns out for a movie which amongst many famous names features Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. I will be honest the often randomness of "Vanilla Sky" was at times too much for me and I say that after watching it three times. I am sure one day I will sit and watch "Vanilla Sky" and it will all slot in to place but each time I have watched so far something will come along and it will leave me bemused.
The thing is that despite not being a huge fan of "Vanilla Sky" there is no denying that it is different and it draws you in by being different and every now and then when you begin to wander it throws you a bone with something which makes you sit up and pay attention. Many times it is something visual but it is also the performances with Tom Cruise delivering a performance which shows his full range from flashing that smile to the bitterness of a man robbed of his looks and on the verge of being robbed of his business.
What this all boils down to is that "Vanilla Sky" is not for everyone, it is not for those who enjoy the usual easy going nature of a Tom Cruise movie or the usual feel good nature of a Cameron Crowe movie. But it is fascinating and the sort of movie which you end up watching more than once to try and make sense of it all.