Vanilla Sky (2001)

R   |    |  Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

Vanilla Sky (2001) Poster

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

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  • Tom Cruise and Penélope Cruz at an event for Vanilla Sky (2001)
  • Vanilla Sky (2001)
  • Tom Cruise and Penélope Cruz in Vanilla Sky (2001)
  • Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky (2001)
  • Tom Cruise and Timothy Spall in Vanilla Sky (2001)
  • Cameron Diaz in Vanilla Sky (2001)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

2 January 2002 | Infofreak
Not much to Crowe about!
First thing is I must admit to not having seen 'Abre Los Ojos', so I can't comment on how much of this is a straightforward remake, or whether any of it is different or original . 'Vanilla Sky' begins as a murder mystery, but that is just a ruse, it is in fact more Phildickian than Hitchcockian. Any fan of PKD's mind-blowing work, specifically 'Ubik', 'A Maze Of Death' and 'Flow My Tears The Policeman Said', bits of which 'Vanilla Sky' share some similarities to, will feel more at home with this kind of material than 'Jerry Maguire' fans.

I have two major problems with 'Vanilla Sky', and both of them I blame on Cameron Crowe, a director who fails to set my world on fire. Apart from the flawed but entertaining 'Almost Famous' I haven't liked much of his output, which to me is basically commercial pap. With this movie he is obviously trying to expand his range, and succeeds to a certain degree, but still doesn't entirely pull it off.

My first problem is Crowe's direction which is disjointed, clumsy and ultimately turns potentially fascinating material into a bore. My other problem was the distracting and ridiculous use of music. It was almost like Crowe went through his record collection and insisted on putting in his favourite bits, regardless of whether it made any cinematic sense or not. Maybe he was going for a similar eclectic feel that the Coen's achieved in 'The Big Lebowski', more than likely, looking at the subject matter, it was trying to be a comment on pop culture and the media ala Trent Reznor's superb musical collage in 'Natural Born Killers'. Whatever the motivation it fell flat on its face, and almost single handedly ruined this movie for me.

Ultimately 'Vanilla Sky' is neither a masterpiece, nor a complete turkey. Crowe is no Kubrick, Cronenberg or Lynch, and this kind of concept needs someone of that vision and creative originality to truly soar. It is interesting in places, irritating in others, and dull for too much of the time. Nice try, worth a look for sure, just don't have high expectations. This year's 'The Matrix', but not as good.

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Did You Know?


Writer/director Cameron Crowe also referred to the clues as his version of the 'Paul is Dead' rumor (the notorious Beatles hoax from the late-60s, when fans became convinced through song lyrics, sonic tricks, and album art that Paul McCartney had died and was replaced by a look-alike). "Divorcing it from whether Paul was really dead or not, that was a really great parlor game: searching for clues, the excitement of different layers, some of them chilling, some of them really funny. It was a great model for us."


Sofía: Open your eyes.
Sofía: Open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open you...


When David awakes after sleeping in the street, the camera and equipment are reflected in the street puddles.

Crazy Credits

The end credits are done to a background of a skyscape changing the various colors of the day.

Alternate Versions

Three parts from the quick montage at the end of the film suggest scenes cut from the final film: two frames from a scene that was in "Abre Los Ojos" (upon which "Vanilla Sky" was based) where David shoots a police officer in front of the L.E. building, a frame of David and Sofia on a bed where Sofia is wearing a bathrobe (she never wore a bathrobe in the film), and a frame set in David's company where David is a kid, sitting on a couch, and a man (possibly Thomas Tipp) is talking to him).


Doot Doot
Rick Smith (as R. Smith), Alfred John Thomas (as A. Thomas) and Karl Hyde (as K. Hyde)
Performed by Freur
Courtesy of Columbia Records
by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Fantasy | Mystery | Romance | Sci-Fi | Thriller

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