I remember completely disliking the remake 'Vanilla Sky' and it was the reason I stopped following the next movies of Amenábar. But now I have seen the original I'm very enthousiastic about this movie. A highly poetic film, with a story reminiscent of Philip K. Dick and Boorman's 'Point Blank'. Certainly the second great movie of this director after 'Thesis'.
Before Matrix and Black Mirror there was this marvelous dystopian sci-fi oeuvre. Both youthful and stunning Penelope Cruz and Eduardo Noriega did great interpretations. The smart script by Mr. Amenabar caught all my attention. A reflection upon dreams and a very old impossible human desire.
This is a ravishingly beautiful and emotional film. Amenabar's style reminds me of the poetic pulp of Jacques Tourneur. He's an ambitious director, and he fully succeeds here. His visual sensibilities are perfect, the camerawork, the colors, and his sense of composition. The actors invest the viewer emotionally, and it's difficult not to tear up. Humanistic sci-fi.
Blending monster movie conventions & film noir with the kind of high-concept sci-fi that would later find its full expression in The Matrix, Open Your Eyes has aged incredibly well, despite rousing a thousand imitators. The play on dreams vs. reality is confusing but always compelling, & there's a genuine commitment to following through on themes of trauma, PTSD, loss of identity & the way guilt corrupts the psyche.