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Open Your Eyes
Time Out says
You might think seeing is believing, but tell that to Amenábar, writer/director of this dazzling thriller, which toys with our perceptions to exquisitely torturous effect. Initially, it appears that playboy César (Noriega) has it all: money, looks, girls. One night at a party, however, eager to escape jealous Nuria (Nimri), he strikes up a conversation with Sofía (Cruz), and soon realises he's in love. After one chaste evening together, it all goes wrong: Nuria is waiting outside, offers a lift, then deliberately drives off the road. She's killed, but he survives with a face so horribly disfigured he needs a mask. His hopes of getting back together with Sofía seem slim, especially since he's now facing a possible murder charge. Will this nightmare never end? Actually, it's only just beginning, as Amenábar adds layers of information overload, altering the picture from noir-ish poser to latter-day Beauty and the Beast, and eventually to head spinning sci-fi mode. What holds us through the revelations are the sheer chutzpah with which Amenábar and his cast deliver them, the emotional imperative of the material and the fascinating way it touches on concepts of interior/exterior worth, personal responsibility and phenomenology. This is so smart, mischievous and stylish, you'll instantly want to see it again.