Vanilla Sky (2001)





Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Kurt Russell, Jason Lee, Noah Taylor, Timothy Spall, Tilda Swinton, Michael Shannon, Ken Leung, Shalom Harlow, Oona Hart, Ivana Miličević, Johnny Galecki, Jhaemi Willens, Alicia Witt, Jennifer Aspen, Steven Spielberg


Playboy David Aames (Tom Cruise) finds romantic redemption when he falls in love with Sofia (Penélope Cruz). However, before the relationship can begin, David is coaxed into a car driven by an ex-lover, Julie (Cameron Diaz), who drives her car off a bridge, killing herself and disfiguring David. Reconstructive surgery and the loving support of Sofia seem to reverse David's luck, but eerie incidents are soon making him question the reality of his existence and his control over his life.


Once upon a time there was a film directed by a young Alejandro Amenábar called Open Your Eyes, a little gem of Spanish and European cinema, balanced between reality and fantasy. And then came this film by Cameron Crowe - not Mr. Nobodies -, that unfortunately does not find balance, and makes the entire story revolve around Tom Cruise, who is too busy watching his reflection in the mirror to "transport" the viewer into the story.

Having said that, Vanilla Sky is not awful, but completely lacks authenticity: almost everything seems fake, from the scenography to the performances.

The story - it's Amenábar's after all - is very interesting. There's mystery, romance, and a little bit of fantasy, which is good. The problem is how it has been told. Infact, the slow storytelling does not keep the audience on the edge of their seat and guessing for the whole time, but is kind of soporific, and makes of the excessive length a real problem.

The music. Although the songs are good on their own, put together as a soundtrack for this film are completely inappropriate and ruin some scenes. 

Lastly the acting. As mention before, Tom Cruise is too narcissist, even when disfigured, and he doesn't even try to put as much as tragedy and intensity in this role as Eduardo Noriega. Penélope Cruz, who also played Sofia in the Spanish film, apparently did not take very seriously this remake, and the result is a flat performance - not to mention the flatness of her character. Cameron Diaz is just awful. And she plays a whore, not the interesting character played by Najwa Nimri. Finally, while the rest of the cast is ridiculous, Jason Lee does a decent job.

Do I recommend this film? Maybe. If you have seen the original, avoid it. If you haven't, give this one a try, you might like it. 


Sofia: Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.

Brian: Just remember, the sweet is never as sweet without the sour, and I know the sour.

1 comment :

  1. I liked Vanilla Sky, but I have never been able to explain why. It's definitely not Tom Cruise's best, and I can't stand Penelope Cruz, but there's just something about it that I can't dislike.