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Overall Rating
1.77

Awesome: 10.66%
Worth A Look: 2.46%
Just Average: 8.2%
Pretty Crappy: 10.66%
Sucks68.03%

9 reviews, 68 user ratings


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Eye of the Beholder
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by Jack Sommersby

"This 'Eye' Has It"
5 stars

Ignore the negative reviews, for taking a chance on this is more than worth it.

In the mesmerizing psychological drama Eye of the Beholder, Ewan McGregor and Ashley Judd deliver extraordinary lived-in star performances as the hunter and the hunted in a tantalizing crime tale that will leave you absolutely spellbound - that is, however, if you're in the right receptive mind not given to priggishness with respect only to standardized cliche-ridden formulaic fare where you feel all too comfortable being fed every morsel of obviousness on a purely popcorn-munching level. It's really something of a galvanizing cinematic achievement, all told, with not so much as a single uninteresting scene and not a specious shot to be found; it's definitely an original, perfectly-sustained piece from start to finish, with its pure unorthodox mode of storytelling no doubt bound to initially confuse and challenge your everyday audience susceptible to the rudimentary. It's a movie on its own unique level, and if you're willing to submit to it, to give yourself to its numerous fascinating idiosyncrasies, the rewards are more than plentiful. McGregor plays a hermetic investigator within the British consulate based out of Washington, D.C.: an utter wreck of a man at such a young age (no more than twenty-six or twenty-seven) whose wife has left him along with their pre-teen daughter, his Frank is a lonely schizophrenic given to dialogue exchanges with his child who's not actually visibly present (during his stakeouts he passes the time conversing with her and rebuking her when her imaginary self acts up); he's shut himself off from his colleagues, but is now sprung into action when his wealthy ambassador-boss's spoiled trust-fund son has been detected withdrawing large sums of cash to a mysterious beauty of a woman, Judd's manipulative Joanna Eris. He follows them to a secluded oceanside house, where, helplessly, he witnesses her stab him to death, rolls him up in plastic, and disposes of him in the water where her totally nude, blood-soaked self weeps openly at his demise. Frank follows her to the train station where she's booked a trip to New York, but rather than siccing the federal authorities on her, at the last minute he has a chance of heart when his daughter urges him to let her be, that she's just as emotionally damaged as she is, and thus begins a narrative that spans from there to San Francisco to Chicago to Boston and eventually the outskirts of Alaska, with Frank acting as Joanna's guardian angel for reasons he never fully can understand - something speaks to him about her, and it's not cheaply sexual, more like protective, with his actions to preserve her sometimes backfiring in tragic ways. I was a fan of British director Stephen Elliott's much-heralded independent picture Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and with the diametric Eye of the Beholder he proves himself a true eclectic talent with phenomenal control and timing along with an acute visual sense with the 2.35:1 widescreen frame for maximum effect (compliments, also, to the tactile French cinematographer Guy Dufaux). Some will no doubt complain the movie is devoid of ratiocination, but that's merely nitpicking, for if the story is about anything it's the messiness of everyday life for certain individuals who've never managed to get themselves into a rut - both Frank and Joanna are misplaced individuals innately impervious to the easy aspirations of attaining the typical "American dream"; they've gotten lost in the shuffle and are forever trying to find a place in a world with no easy entry point with their off-kilter mindsets. Even in populace major cities, with racial and religious diversities, they still can never fit in. Which propels Frank to partake in an action at the one-hour mark, thinking he's preventing Joanna's latest male companion from becoming a helpless victim but winds up resulting in just the opposite, that's utterly horrifying, and the reason the movie manages to stay steadily on track afterward is the ironclad control of this most unusual material that Elliott masterfully orchestrates. Eye of the Beholder is certainly not for everyone, and if you're willing to overlook that inadequate actor Jason Priestley's horrific acting in a small role as a Death Valley heroin dealer and something of a rushed (though perfectly sensible) conclusion, you should have a grand 'ol time. Say what you will, but you've never seen anything quite like it in your life - it casts a purely hypnotic spell that's all but impossible to resist. A mini-classic worthy of many repeat viewings.

Stay clear of the abominable full-screen DVD.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=3461&reviewer=327
originally posted: 01/05/21 22:03:56
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User Comments

5/26/18 rk Garbage. So boring. 1 stars
12/29/17 morris campbell boredom in the eye of the beholder 1 stars
12/29/17 morris campbell boredom in the eye of the beholder 1 stars
12/29/17 morris campbell boredom in the eye of the beholder 1 stars
12/10/17 Thejonez wwhat? 2 stars
6/09/14 PAUL SHORTT DISJOINTED AND CLUMSY 2 stars
5/18/10 ikkin74 One of the worst things I've ever seen. 1 stars
7/25/09 the dork knight Fancies itself a bit of an art film. I wasn't entertained for one minute. 1 stars
12/15/07 mrsinister WOW. Bad. 1 stars
12/01/07 Charles Tatum Never connected to the flick, but not a disaster, either 3 stars
10/24/07 Ivana Mann Underrated, creative exploration of the thin line between love & obsession.Give it a chance 4 stars
9/22/07 Hard Rock Jane Austen Jack Sommersby, please say you're joking. Hundreds of other commentors can't be all wrong! 1 stars
9/22/07 Gretchen Seitz Possibly worst movie ever made until Judd made it look good by comparison to TWISTED. 1 stars
9/18/07 Sugarfoot So hilariously awful, too bad it's meant as a serious thriller. Awful, Awful Awful! 1 stars
10/28/04 Alan Bradbury This film makes Plan 9 from Outer Space look like Casablanca 1 stars
2/06/04 Mike This is literally the crappiest film ever made. 1 stars
12/20/03 Natalie Stonecipher You could film bouts of diarrhea I've had and make a better movie than this from them! 1 stars
11/04/03 anonomous bitch this movie suc kkkkks negrooooo 1 stars
10/30/03 Comic book guy Worst movie ever 1 stars
6/09/03 Say it ain't so, Ashley! The scariest part is, Ashley Judd so resembles the role she plays herein! 1 stars
3/27/03 Pam be Dextrous Low expectations when K.D. Lang plays least scary character, but film sinks way below them. 1 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby Amisunderstood, shockingly original masterpiece. Judd and McGregor are first-rate. 5 stars
12/30/02 Jenna Furr I hope Ashley Judd shits in her pants every time she remembers what a monstrosity she made 1 stars
12/16/02 Eccentric Brit Woman kills. Man follows. WHY? Well, they forgot to explain why. 1 stars
12/02/02 Aileen Wuornos Ashley/Joanna is my fantasy love! I could be happy wallowing in her shit! 1 stars
11/21/02 Nicole Wright Absolutely Crap, worse film I've ever seen 1 stars
11/13/02 Natalie Stonecipher You could film bouts of diarrhea I've had and make a better movie than this from them! 1 stars
10/30/02 Jessica Davis (user-2ivfaq6.dialup.mindspring.com) How transparent! Ashley Judd really playing herself! 1 stars
10/15/02 Dingleberry How funny that the two people who like this can't spell. This is shit on celluloid. 1 stars
9/14/02 Crystal grate 5 stars
6/24/02 Law Ewan rocks, even if the movie did suck 3 stars
6/10/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi come on, i no this was pretty shit, but EWAN WAS IN IT!!! 5 stars
4/24/02 Jenna Furr I hope Ashley Judd shits in her pants every time she remembers what a monstrosity she made 1 stars
3/26/02 Bill O'Reilly If I can do it for 2 days, Ashley Judd should give Rosie diarrhea for 2 decades! 1 stars
3/03/02 Aileen Wuornos Ashley/Joanna is my fantasy love! I could be happy wallowing in her shit! 1 stars
2/18/02 Nicole Wright Absolutely Crap, worse film I've ever seen 1 stars
2/02/02 Allison Lafferty Really a sequel to DOUBLE JEOPARDY? Joanna Eris really Libby Parsons in disguise? 2 stars
1/29/02 Jessica Davis How transparent! Ashley Judd really playing herself! 1 stars
1/25/02 Melissa Zanus Is Ashley Judd Satan incarnate or what? 1 stars
9/19/01 Amber It tried, disappointing ending 3 stars
9/01/01 Kenny Thejet He follow, and follow and follow her until you get tired, and the end is really bad. 1 stars
3/26/01 nowak To me it was wonderful. Saw it twice. 5 stars
2/20/01 Rocket Boy Unbearable...Judd, who was so good in Ruby in Paradise, has gone straight downhill. 1 stars
10/01/00 Image umm....and the point to the movie was.........????? 3 stars
8/17/00 Tim this movie sucked..watching paint dry was more exciting than this movie 1 stars
8/17/00 Bevan R. Clark Beguiling, slick and Ashley Judd is a revelation 5 stars
7/14/00 Kakki Made no sense. Was it an ashley judd fashion show? 1 stars
6/24/00 Emily I liked it! I don't know why it got such bad reveiws, I was drawn to watch it more. 4 stars
6/19/00 mahone crap is in the eye of the director 1 stars
6/06/00 Casper Absolute Crap. What was Ewan thinking???? 1 stars
3/25/00 Bitchface I loved this damn movie.... 5 stars
3/14/00 Lame-Oh sissy movie 1 stars
3/05/00 Captain Highcrime Nice to see home again (Montreal), too bad it had to be inbetween naps. 2 stars
2/28/00 cornbun deluxe this ought to win the best picture oscar....kd lang was amazing! i loved it! best film! 5 stars
2/28/00 Mr. Kramitall Horrible beyond recognition. What the hell was that? 1 stars
2/18/00 Mortis I'm haunted by this film..Amazing visuals 4 stars
2/14/00 Pizaster Made you think...about what, i have no idea. 2 stars
2/14/00 the fucker ashley judd's tits are HUGE!!... too bad the movie spoiled our sex! 1 stars
2/09/00 Karen terrible, senseless move, we walked out in the middle 1 stars
2/08/00 PhilmPhreak What the fuck was that? 1 stars
2/07/00 Ann Um...no 1 stars
2/05/00 Lame-Oh What a piece of junk. Can't beleieve I saw that wretched scum-butt! 1 stars
2/02/00 Tom I want my movie back for this crap 1 stars
1/31/00 Richard Hendricks Wife thought this was a nice chick flick.I knew it would suck.I was right. :) 1 stars
1/30/00 Janine Lay, RN Plot like molasses, acting sucked, terribly disapppointing ending, overall-sucked! 1 stars
1/30/00 scorched This movie blows!!! 1 stars
1/29/00 schmegs Completely senseless... 2 stars
1/29/00 Malbert Wow...pretty bad 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  28-Jan-2000 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  10-Aug-2000 (M)




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