When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him and his former secretary.
Cuba Gooding Jr.,
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
Two paintings seen in David Aames' apartment were painted by Canadian-born singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. The paintings are called Ice Offering and Edmonton. See more »
When David pulls up to his office early on, there are cars parked in front of and behind him. In the next shot, from the side, those cars have disappeared. See more »
Open your eyes.
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]
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There are no opening credits for the film. See more »
The 2015 Blu-Ray release includes an alternate ending version with a vastly expanded ending. While the events lead to the same conclusion, there are alternate takes and additional scenes (including the scene of David shooting the police officer). See more »
This is another one of those films about the human mind and the content therein ... memories, dreams, emotions, perceptions, what is real and what is not. Hollywood has been there before, many times. In "Vanilla Sky" the setting is modern day New York City. The main character is David Aames, a smug, self-satisfied, wealthy playboy who is heir to a publishing empire. He's a man who has it all, until an unfortunate event changes him forever.
The best approach to this film is to go with the flow, and not try to analyze it too much. The story gets complicated and confusing. The narrative jumps back and forth. There are many flashbacks. Interpretations vary as to the film's "meaning". And therein lies my main problem with the story. When filmmakers try to cover too much philosophical ground, and go deep into the human psyche, the end result is usually ... mush. This film would have been better if the screenplay had focused on one or two philosophical points only. As is, the film's complex subject matter and disjointed structure convey not insight but confusion.
The screenplay aside, other technical components run the gamut from good to awful. Cinematography is probably the strongest element of the film, and includes some creative camera shots of Manhattan. Special effects are effective, and without being intrusive. And production design is impressive. On the other hand, the film's editing contributes to a confused plot. And the background music is very, very weak. As to the acting, well, I don't even want to talk about it ...
Compared to other contemporary films, "Vanilla Sky" is neither better nor worse, but about average. Seeing it once is probably enough.
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