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Open Your Eyes
Open Your Eyes 2.5 out of 4

star2-5

Alejandro Amenábar's Open Your Eyes (think Groundhog Day + Mask - Blowup x The Matrix) is an existential thriller about dreams and imagination that teases and perplexes more than it actually provokes. César (Eduardo Noriega) is a narcissist incapable of sleeping with a woman more than twice. Nuria (Najwa Nimri) is his spurned lover and Sofia (Penélope Cruz) his true object of affection. The latter becomes predictably wary of his advances once a car accident that kills Nuria leaves César with hideous facial scaring. The reality of the film's events are called into question once César free-associates into a virtual fugue state: Sofia vanishes, Nuria appears in her place and César's facial scars disappear during any given morning. Like Amenábar's far superior The Others, Open is dreamy exploration of the anxieties associated with "crossing over." Amenábar understands the isolation his everyman though César's road to enlightenment is considerably hollow compared to that of Nicole Kidman's icy Grace from The Others. The pre-millenium tension is all over the film's riveting final scene, though everything prior feels like a preposterous conundrum leading to an inevitable punchline.

Director(s): Alejandro Amenábar Screenwriter(s): Alejandro Amenábar, Mateo Gil Cast: Eduardo Noriega, Penélope Cruz, Chete Lera, Fele Martínez, Najwa Nimri Distributor: Artisan Entertainment Runtime: 117 min Rating: R Year: 1997

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