Vanilla Sky

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(2001) ★★★

Film4:Sunday 8 November, 1.00am

Manhattan publisher Tom Cruise has the world and its women at his feet. But when clinging girlfriend Cameron Diaz sees Cruise eyeing up Spanish dancer Penelope Cruz, she changes Cruise’s self-absorbed life forever.

Friendly psychologist Kurt Russell tries to piece the puzzle together while Cruise, charged with murder and unable to differentiate between fantasy and reality, hides his face behind a mask and submerges his feelings in sullen self-pity.

Music-loving director Cameron Crowe’s self-proclaimed ‘cover’ version of Alejandro Amenabar’s marvellously mystifying 1997 melodrama Open Your Eyes is a limpid and lusciously coloured affair that commands attention without engaging the emotions. It follows the original fairly faithfully – the story’s unchanged and Penelope Cruz appears in both versions – while adding only a typically eclectic soundtrack of sign-posting songs.

The best of these is One of Us, one of the lesser-known numbers among a clutch of Bob Dylan and Beach Boys, Chemical Brothers and Radiohead favourites. Of course, Crowe could have simply chosen Life is But a Dream and had done with it. Small world, too: while Cruise was cuddling up to Cruz, Amenabar was making The Others with Tom’s ex Nicole Kidman.

Certificate: 15
Duration: 128min

IMDB – Vanilla Sky

TMDB – Vanilla Sky

Rotten Tomatoes – Vanilla Sky