Eye Of The Beholder

"Bad"

Eye Of The Beholder Review


"Eye of the Beholder" isn't a title, it's a warning label. What's going on in this movie is anybody's guess.

An erotic thriller/mystery/failed cerebral art film, starring Ashley Judd as an esoteric serial killer and Ewan McGregor as her high-tech stalker/guardian, this flick is steeped in spiraling twists and volatile psyches which seemingly build toward a shock finale that never arrives.

Based on a novel by Marc Behm, it raises dozens of questions that go unanswered. It provides only snippets of backstory, leaving its characters half-revealed. And all the while, it's readily apparent that writer-director Stephen Elliott ("Welcome to Woop Woop," "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert") considers himself terribly cagey.

If Elliott does know what's really going on in this movie, he seems unwilling to share.

McGregor plays an emotionally unstable surveillance man who becomes obsessed with Judd on a stake-out, quits his secretive government job, and spends the movie following her hither and yon across the nation (Montreal substitutes unconvincingly for various U.S. cities). He watches through hidden cameras as she changes wigs and kills her lovers at every stop -- occasionally breaking down afterwards and crying "Merry Christmas, daddy!" -- whatever that means.

It's never (and I do mean never) clear who she is or why he cares, although convoluted clues are dropped throughout the film -- along with a lot of repetitive, surreal symbolism that ultimately means very little.

McGregor is haunted by visions of his missing daughter and mention is made of his wife, who apparently disappeared at the same time. Could Judd be the AWOL spouse gone gonzo? Our hero sure gets jealous -- and vengeful -- when she meets a guy she doesn't want to kill. Or is she just a voyeur's substitute? Maybe there's no connection at all. Maybe Elliott just incites speculation because he has nothing better to do.

"Eye" is tantamount a cheap erotic thriller, trying to smarten itself up by spouting mystical, metaphysical nonsense.

The movie fails on so many levels it's hard to remember them all, but coming immediately to mind are: the obvious soundstage sets; the innumerable logical loopholes; the immigrant filmmaker faux pas (Aussie Elliott doesn't realize there's no such organization as the "Federal Police" in America) and the almost emotionless acting.

Judd lets her icy character get the best of her and this performance is frozen stiff. And coming on the heels of his cardboard Ben Kenobi in "The Phantom Menace," McGregor's listless fixation here makes me think it's time to change his spark plugs.

Crooner K.D. Lang, cast as McGregor's contact at his unnamed government agency, borders on obnoxious while trying to exude affectionate moxie. Only Genevieve Bujold, as the elusive shrink at an institution where Judd grew up, shows even a modicum of true emotion when she kicks the nosy McGregor out of her office.

So what does he do? He goes back to following Judd. That's pretty much all he does: follow her, follow her, and follow her more, sleeping in back alleys and bell towers to keep an eye on the vampy, scampy girl.

"Eye" could have ended after the second reel, and for all intents and purposes been the same movie.



Eye Of The Beholder

Facts and Figures

Run time: 109 mins

In Theaters: Friday 28th January 2000

Budget: $15M

Distributed by: Desintation Film Dist. Corp.

Production compaines: Destination Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 9%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 78

IMDB: 4.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Stephen Wilson, as Joanna Eris, as Alex Leonard, as Hilary, as Dr. Brault, as Gary

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.