My year of watching all things Kubrick continues with 1999's EYES WIDE SHUT, an adult, sexually charged final film from Stanley. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman (married at the time) play a doctor and his wife in NYC with what appears to be a perfect, high society life. After Kidman shares an intimate nightmare/fantasy with Cruise, he becomes jealous and obsessed with exploring his own sexual dalliance. The central 30 minutes of the film is a luxurious, mysterious, haunting and suspenseful orgy at a luxury estate. Everything else in the film radiates out from that central 30 minutes. Is everything what it seems? Is everything we see reality or fantasy? As Cruise stumbles from one highly sexual encounter (whether he acts on them or not is for you to discover) you are dragged along into some uncomfortable and intriguing positions (literally). Not perfect, but imperfect Kubrick is better than most director's masterpieces.
The ending is too pat a resolution for the previous 150 minutes and the final line of dialogue will either make you laugh or infuriate you, it kind of did both for me. Filmed in London on soundstages and sets, Kubrick captures Manhattan except for one curious detail. Where the hell are all the people that should be on those sidewalks? Languorous, beautiful, maddeningly impersonal and intimate at the same time, it kept my eyes wide open all the way to a B. Not for the easily offended.