Vanilla Sky

“This movie is fairly hated by most who saw it upon release. Or if not hated, at least dismissed as being bad. I beg to differ. Sure the dialog is pretentious, the plot is confusing, and some of the acting *cough*cough*Cameron*cough*Diaz*cough* leaves something to be desired. But this is the movie that introduced the world at large to Penelope Cruz at her manic pixie dream girl best. And, the real reason I love it, the film is deliciously dark.

First, I wanna defend the film a little bit. Lesser known fact about the movie, it was heavily influenced by Francios Truffaut’s Jules et Jim. Back at MIT, I took a film class that studied the work of Truffaut (it was the only film class offered that didn’t have screenings at night when they would have conflicted with theatre). We watched Jules et Jim around the same time I first saw Vanilla Sky. I don’t remember what order I saw them in, but I recognized the influence immediately. If you ignore the twisty scifi element and just focus on the relationships, there’s some strong similarities. Not to mention a certain car crash. As as a hidden gem, there are posters for two Truffaut movies in the background, including one for Jules et Jim.

Oh actually, now that I think about it. Pretty sure I saw Vanilla SKy first because I think I remember writing about it in my paper on Jules et Jim. I rewatched it and noticed a lot of the small elements that were Truffaut’s signature. For example, and we’ll see how well I can explain this, the way that some shots are paused like a photograph. I’m sure there were others that are locked away in the recesses of my brain.

All that is just the first third of the movie. Then it gets weird. That’s when I love it. Sure, I was beyond confused on the first watch, but once I found out how it pieced together, I was enthralled. I guess I’m just a sucker for a psychological thriller.”

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