Why 'Eyes Wide Shut' Is The Christmas Movie For You In 2020
Eyes Wide Shut is the latest film to enter the heated "is it a Christmas movie?" debate. In recent years, the 1999 Tom Cruise-Nicole Kidman film may have even overtaken Die Hard as the must-see "alternative" holiday movie. Let's take a look at why you need to watch Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut this December.
Ask for undisputed classics of the Christmas movie genre, and you'll get answers like It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and... Eyes Wide Shut?
This canon of classics has had few additions in recent years, but other films have begun emerging as popular "alternative" picks for holiday-season viewing. Die Hard has led the movement, but it's time for "John McClane" to step aside, because Eyes Wide Shut is the new movie you need to watch this Christmas.
Eyes Wide Shut is a Christmas movie—a better one than Die Hard
Holiday merit aside, Eyes Wide Shut is a must-see film. It's the final project completed by legendary director Stanley Kubrick, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as a married couple in a thematic exploration of lust, fantasy, dreams, and love.
As it plays out on-screen, the plot follows "Bill" (Cruise) on a dream-like journey after a deeply-personal quarrel with wife "Alice" (Kidman) following a Christmas party. But is the story—with a festive backdrop—a dream, a nightmare, or a disturbing reality?
Unfairly so, Eyes Wide Shut has earned a reputation for being just "that orgy movie," though it does feature such a sequence in a cult-like mansion. But the nearly three-hour film has plenty to offer in its expertly crafted, dreamy saga that leaves viewers just as shocked, confused, and captivated as Cruise and Kidman's sparring on-screen couple (who were also married off-screen at the time).
Plus, from start to finish, it's all framed within a Christmas-season narrative. Some critics even argue the Christmas element, chosen by Kubrick himself, provides commentary on the film's elusive meaning.
Christmas movies in 2020: Turn to Eyes Wide Shut
So, if It's a Wonderful Life or even Die Hard are growing a little stale, or if you're seeking a new addition to your annual holiday viewing, put on Eyes Wide Shut this Christmas.
You probably shouldn't watch it with the whole family around, but this 1999 adult masterpiece deserves your attention any day — and there's no better time to bring the film's (at-times) festive atmosphere into your home.
For more Christmas movies, see other favourite holiday picks here.