Open Your Eyes (1997)

Dir. Alejandro Amenabar

I would recommend this to everyone–especially Joel and Penny–and I would also recommend just seeing this without reading anything else. The film is well-made (good direction), interesting and held my attention throughout. Penelope Cruz is in it, too. (On a side note. Cruz is obviously beautiful, but she really has the “it” quality; magical beauty. I saw some qualities of Audrey Hepburn in her: the magical beauty, and innocence. But there are other qualities that make them different, too.) It’s a good film, but I don’t know if it deserves being in the 1001 book.

Summarizing the film without giving too much away is pretty difficult, but I”ll try for those who need more than my recommendations. Cesar (Eduardo Noreiga) is a wealthy womanizer, who we find in a hospital for the mentally ill. He’s put there for several reasons: he’s severely damaged, both physically and psychologically, and he’s killed someone. But Cesar cant’ remember what happened and struggles to figure out what happened with the help of Antonio (Chete Lera), a psychiatrist. There are several movies I can compare this, too, but that would be giving away more than I would like. There’s also an American remake of this film, which I haven’t seen.

This is a well-directed movie. It keeps your attention and there are some nice constructions of dream sequences. There are several films that I thought of after seeing this. Seconds because of both films’ interest in critiquing the value placed on physical appearance; Matrix for the questioning of nature of reality, partly a new reality offered by new technology; Jacob’s Ladder and Mullholland Drive because of the way the story occurs within a dream narrative.

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