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Saturday, June 08, 2002

Entry 0005 -- My wife and I just finished watching Vanilla Sky. Like many of my favourite movies (Eraserhead, The Matrix), it is composed of multiple layers that get peeled back like the layers of an onion. There's a somewhat clumsy moment of exposition at the end that puts the film squarely in the Total Recall neighbourhood (and apparently led to many, many bad reviews), but for the most part the film is a fascinating puzzle about identity, self-pity and regret. It's also visually beautiful, with some amazing camera work (and one outstanding, non-computerized scene in a deserted Times Square). Tom Cruise's cheery, breezy arrogance plays well to the character he plays here, a child of privilege who life is turned upside down, inside out, and reduced to an horrific nightmare in which every attempt to reclaim his personality and identity is stymied and twisted, by time, by circumstance, by deception. Not a perfect or transcendant film, Vanilla Sky is nonetheless compelling and thought-provoking, and a movie that will reward future viewings.



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