Reiner v. Kubrick
Eyes Wide Shut is the movie that most embarrasses film critics this year. It not only cost a leading daily reviewer her job (if you listen to the right inside dope) but hardly anyone who reviewed it got it right?not even the blurb whores. That's mostly because our hype crisis has made an uncorrupted response to movie art almost impossible. It's often difficult to see contemporary films apart from their promotion, to separate a filmmaker's intent from the culture's mandate, to distinguish Kubrick's individuality from his legend. Expecting Kubrick to be ahead of his time, reviewers were stumped to discover him outside his time. Eyes Wide Shut's moral consideration of marriage and sex was widely dismissed as old-fashioned and out of touch. It didn't promise an empty tomorrow (like the jejune Fight Club) but uncomfortably reconsidered morality that the 90s forgot. And this intransigence was, ironically, betrayed by Kubrick's and Warner's desperate marketing ploy. (See "Tom and Nicole doing it!")