Film: Vanilla Sky

Cover image
Film:

Vanilla Sky

Director: Cameron Crowe
Honors:
Genres:
Distributor: Paramount

Vanilla Sky reunites director Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire) with über-playboy Tom Cruise, adds another sexy Cruz (Penélope) and Cameron Diaz for good measure, and delivers a wildly entertaining, bizarre venture into erotic science fiction. Adapted near exactly from Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar’s 1997 romantic thriller Open Your Eyes, the film follows David Aames (Cruise) as he falls from his graceful Manhattan perch of inordinate wealth, good looks, and newfound love with Sofia (Cruz) because of severe facial disfigurement in a car…

Reviews

Amazon.com

Vanilla Sky reunites director Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire) with über-playboy Tom Cruise, adds another sexy Cruz (Penélope) and Cameron Diaz for good measure, and delivers a wildly entertaining, bizarre venture into erotic science fiction. Adapted near exactly from Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar’s 1997 romantic thriller Open Your Eyes, the film follows David Aames (Cruise) as he falls from his graceful Manhattan perch of inordinate wealth, good looks, and newfound love with Sofia (Cruz) because of severe facial disfigurement in a car accident caused by a suicidal ex-lover (Diaz). What at first promises to be a conventional allegory of redemption via true love is turned on its head as Cruise’s character, reduced to wearing a latex mask and spurned by his friends, wins back his princess only after a miracle of plastic surgery restores his former beauty. A series of plot twists follows as waking life, technological advances, and nightmares flip-flop to dizzying effect and David ultimately comes face to face with his own mortality. Despite a final conceit to some vague morality, the appeal of the film is the wonderfully callous message conveyed by the rest of it (money and physical beauty equal happiness) through an unabashed vanity perfectly embodied by Cruise and Cruz. A delicious, decadent treat. —Fionn Meade

Barnes and Noble

Audacious, dazzling, and even surrealistic, Vanilla Sky begins as a rather conventional erotic thriller but in fairly short order becomes something unclassifiable—which probably explains the allure of this hypnotically compelling film. And talk about perfect casting: Tom Cruise plays a rich, handsome, self-assured publishing executive as though he were to the manor born, blithely dismissing underlings hither and yon while romancing leggy seductress Cameron Diaz. He’s a guy who has it all, knows it, and enjoys it. Then along comes Penelope Cruz, the winsome Spanish beauty who sweeps him off his feet and sends Diaz into a murderous rage that results in grotesque disfigurement for the pretty-boy publisher. The Cruise character goes into a tailspin, but for us to reveal more would be doing a grave disservice to director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous), whose imaginative treatment makes Vanilla Sky virtually unique among mainstream Hollywood movies. Inspired by Open Your Eyes, the 1998 art-house hit from Spain (which featured Cruz in the same role) Vanilla Sky is a cinematically ambitious magic-carpet ride that besieges the senses with amazing sights and sounds. The narrative just barely restrains Crowe’s creative flights of fancy; indeed, at times the story line seems obtrusive or irrelevant. But the Cruise-Cruz chemistry is palpable, and the presence of these luminous stars helps to bring Crowe’s Sky down to earth, where it can be appreciated. The director supplies a thoughtful commentary for the DVD, which also includes an in-depth conversation with Cruise, two behind-the-scenes documentaries (Prelude to a Dream and Hitting It Hard), assorted bloopers, and an interview with Paul McCartney, whose music is prominently featured in the film. Ed Hulse

Views: 562 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.023 sec