Combustible Celluloid
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With: Eduardo Noriega, Penelope Cruz, Chete Lera, Fele Mart�nez, Najwa Nimri, Gerard Barray, Jorge de Juan
Written by: Alejandro Amenabar, Mateo Gil
Directed by: Alejandro Amenabar
MPAA Rating: R for some strong sexuality, language and some violence
Language: Spanish, with English subtitles
Running Time: 117
Date: 12/19/1997

Open Your Eyes (1997)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Don't Mask, Don't Tell

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Ladies' man Cesar (Eduardo Noriega) leaves his casual sex partner for Sofia (Penelope Cruz), for whom he begins to feel his first feelings of true love. But his ex drives him off a cliff, seriously disfiguring his face. He wears a spooky mask and begins to hallucinate, until it's no longer clear what's real and what's not. Made in 1997, Open Your Eyes is an amazing thriller that generates genuine dread, suspense, and a dark, nightmarish quality. When the twisted plot is finally cleared up at the end, it's explained quickly and cleanly. It instantly became one of Spain's highest grossing films. But its American distributor, Artisan, seriously botched both the 1999 American theatrical release and the subsequent video release and hardly anyone saw it -- except for Cameron Crowe and Tom Cruise, who engineered the dumber American remake, Vanilla Sky.

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