I just watched Kubrick's film, "Eyes Wide Shut". Of course the film bears Kubrick's crisp, hard-hitting visuals and cuts throughout. But what surprised me is that I actually liked it. I'd often considered Stanley Kubrick a sort of pedantic director, more interested in stunning cinematography and experimental, unorthodox storytelling than in interesting his audience. And the subject matter of "Eyes Wide Shut" is a bunch of malcontent rich New Yorkers, never a topic that grabs my attention. Indeed, I often found myself wondering as I watched the movie how much natural gas or heating oil the characters must be using to keep their apartments at comfortable temperatures in the middle of winter.
But between its scenes of satanic sex cult orgies and Tom Cruise's spending most of the movie with his signature look of confused intensity, like an Irish Setter that's just caught a whiff of pheasant, the movie did a good job of depicting some elements of real human relationships. Uncertainty, jealousy, boredom, love, lust, they are all shown as they happen in real life, not in some souped-up phony movie world. And the stumbling, deliberate dialogue (often augmented because the characters are under the influence of estupifacients, feels real and leaves the viewer impatiently waiting to see what the next word, the next phrase will be.
The movie ends with a sweet (if somewhat out of the blue and glib) affirmation of love, of marriage, of forgiveness and acceptance of certain frailties in those we love. And a recognition of the importance of lovemaking in the whole equation.