zedcutsinger’s review published on Letterboxd:
Like Ozu or Bresson, Kubrick positions Cruise, et al, like impassive marionettes to fulfill his final film fantasy, Eyes Wide Shut. The repetition of "rehearsal" (unbeknownst to the actors?) fits into the thematic nature here, by retracing steps the mystique is ruined.
When Bill Harford (Cruise) is in the belly of THE sex party, all he's concerned with is seeing the face under the mask. The truth. And it's the truth that doesn't set him free, no, it holds him down and clips his wings. Whether in his relationship (his wife's fantasy) or his status (he thought he was the 1% yet he'll never be the 0.1%), it all makes Bill wish his eyes were wide shut.
The attention to detail here is most fulfilling upon research, small things like the article Bill has about the death... if you pause the frame and read it, it's loaded with looped sentences. The entire mirage of film dissipates... are we Bill?
For a film with not that much plot or dialogue (I think the script is eighty something pages?) it's packed densely with theme and conversation pieces... on my movie podcast for an entire hour we didn't get past the argument between Bill and Alice Harford. And this is all antithetical to the movie, the more I analyze and become acquainted with Eyes Wide Shut the more I like it. To quote the final line of the movie: