6.9/10
236,383
1,274 user 148 critic

Vanilla Sky (2001)

A self-indulgent and vain publishing magnate finds his privileged life upended after a vehicular accident with a resentful lover.

Director:

Cameron Crowe

Writers:

Alejandro Amenábar (film "Abre Los Ojos"), Mateo Gil (film "Abre Los Ojos") | 1 more credit »
Popularity
1,714 ( 127)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Cruise ... David Aames
Penélope Cruz ... Sofia Serrano
Cameron Diaz ... Julie Gianni
Kurt Russell ... McCabe
Jason Lee ... Brian Shelby
Noah Taylor ... Edmund Ventura
Timothy Spall ... Thomas Tipp
Tilda Swinton ... Rebecca Dearborn
Michael Shannon ... Aaron
Delaina Mitchell ... David's Assistant
Shalom Harlow ... Colleen
Oona Hart ... Lynette
Ivana Milicevic ... Emma
Johnny Galecki ... Peter Brown
Jhaemi Willens Jhaemi Willens ... Jamie Berliner
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Storyline

Incarcerated and charged with murder, David Aames Jr. is telling the story of how he got to where he is to McCabe, the police psychologist. That story includes: being the 51% shareholder of a major publishing firm, which he inherited from his long deceased parents; the firm's board, appointed by David Aames Sr., being the 49% shareholders who would probably like to see him gone as they see him as being too irresponsible and immature to run the company; his best bro friendship with author, Brian Shelby; his "friends with benefits" relationship with Julie Gianni, who saw their relationship in a slightly different light; his budding romance with Sofia Serrano, who Brian brought to David's party as his own date and who Brian saw as his own possible life mate; and being in an accident which disfigured his face and killed the person who caused the accident. But as the story proceeds, David isn't sure what is real and what is a dream/nightmare as many facets of the story are incompatible to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What is happiness to you? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Spain

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 December 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nebo boje vanile See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$68,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,015,518, 16 December 2001

Gross USA:

$100,618,344

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$203,388,341
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (alternate ending)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cameron Crowe summed up the movie in the production notes with the following words: "Snowboarding through life, David Aames appears to lead a charmed life. Handsome, wealthy and charismatic, the young New York City publishing executive's freewheeling existence is enchanting, yet he seems to be missing something. Like the pointillism of an Impressionist landscape, a life can appear to be entirely different when examined close up. In one night David meets a girl of his dreams and loses her by making a small mistake. Thrust unexpectedly onto a roller-coaster ride of romance, comedy, suspicion, love, sex and dreams, David finds himself on a mind-bending search for his soul and discovers the precious, ephemeral nature of true love." See more »

Goofs

When Julie comes back, her strap is off and then on again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sofía: [in Spanish] Open your eyes.
Sofía: [in English] Open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open you...
[David wakes up and pushes the snooze button on his alarm]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to Conan O'Brien and all at Late Night. See more »

Alternate Versions

A scene near the end of the film where David Aames shoots a gun in front of the L.E. building is shown in one of the previews but not in the theatrical version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Box Elder (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space
(1997)
by Jason Pierce
Performed by Spiritualized
Courtesy of BMG Entertainment International U.K. and Ireland / Arista Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

How to use a photocopier
1 July 2003 | by zio ugoSee all my reviews

From the point of view of pure cinema, it is quite impossible to make any review of this film: `Vanilla sky' is the carbon copy of the Spanish film `Abre los ojos,' translated practically verbatim, and with the only difference of a higher percentage of in-your-face special effects (including the typical never-ending fall from a building) that, if they don't add anything to the film, they certainly add a lot to the budget of Digital Domain, the company responsible for most of the special effects. What is left for us to do is to reflect on the meaning of such an operation. We can't honestly call it a remake because of the temporal closeness of its antecedent (Abre los ojos was released in 1997), and of the consequent lack of the `cultural distance' necessary to any reinterpretation operation. We can't call it an homage to a genre (a la Brain de Palma in `Blow Out,' just to make an example) because the referent is too specific, and the carbon copy quality of `Vanilla Sky' too evident.

So, what is left? The producers, obviously, believed that the story would appeal to the American public, for otherwise they wouldn't have spent a considerable amount of money filming it but, in this case, wouldn't have been simpler to release the original in AMC theaters around the country? The only explanation I can find, one that is rather insulting for the American public, is the following. Hollywood producers believe that the mainstream spectator will not see a film unless it falls completely within the expected (and very restricted, Hollywood canons). So, the setting has to be a familiar American setting (New York instead of Madrid) and there has to be the usual sprinkle of known American actors (Tom Cruise). But, most important, the dialog has an undefinable Hollywood quality: just the mix of witty, sad, and sugary to which Hollywood films have accustomed the American public.

This film, in other words, is an explicit insult: Hollywood is telling us that they got us so use to their style of crap that the only way for us to go see a film is to make it into crap.

What is truly sad is that they might be right: Vanilla Sky was a discrete success. On the other hand (and I quote Barnum paraphrasing Mencken): `Nobody ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the American public.'


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