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I Wake Up Dreaming

Notwithstanding the misguided attempt in the movie's final half hour to rationalize Schnitzler's evocative material with a heavy-handed and ultimately nonsensical plot device, I'm not even convinced that this "haunting final masterpiece" has the tone that Kubrick intended. It requires but the barest familiarity with Lolita or Dr. Strangelove to see how Eyes Wide Shut might have been cut by 45 minutes and played for East European black comedy. (The movie is rife enough with broad performances—ranging from Sky Dumont's hokey Hungarian to the fey camping of Alan Cumming's desk clerk.)

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Eyes Wide Shut
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Written by Kubrick and Frederic Raphael
From the novella Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler

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There may be a scandal behind Eyes Wide Shut—which, even in this forlorn state, has enough stuff to suggest a Kubrick film—but it has nothing to do with explicit sex. Someday some dogged cine-archaeologist will get to the bottom of this corporate restoration and, figuring out just who did what to whom, sort the potential film from the apparent one. For most people, though, a single viewing will be more than enough.

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