October 29, 2010
Wikipedia | David Aames (Tom Cruise) becomes the heir of his deceased father’s New York City publishing company, and he enjoys the lifestyle of a wealthy bachelor in New York City. He has a casual, on-off relationship with Julianna (Cameron Diaz), but during a party in his home he is introduced to Sofia Serrano (Penélope Cruz) by his best friend Brian Shelby (Jason Lee). David and Sofia spend a romantic, though not sexual, night together in her apartment; David feels he may have found his soulmate. However, Julianna, after seeing David and Sofia leave together, is consumed by jealousy. Julianna waits for David outside Sophia’s apartment the next morning, and offers David a ride when he leaves. She then drives them off a bridge on purpose and crashes into a brick wall. Julianna is killed on the spot, but David survives though unconscious. David wakes up to find that he has a face shattered so badly that he has to wear a custom-made mask to hide the disfigurement. He tries to continue seeing Sofia, but she finds his resentment and bitterness about the accident difficult to deal with. After he gets drunk at a bar and falls asleep in a puddle in the street outside, Sofia walks away, leaving with Brian.
The next day, David wakes up in the street to find Sofia bending over him, anxious to help. They continue to date and grow closer, and David has successful cosmetic surgery to restore his face. Despite the perfect life, David starts to notice oddities in his perception of the world; at times, it appears that his face has reverted to the disfigured state, and he encounters a strange man (Noah Taylor) at a bar who tells him he has the power to change the world. One day, at Sofia’s apartment, he finds that Sofia, and every image he knew of her, has been replaced by Julianna, and in a bout of madness, suffocates her. He is arrested and assigned a court psychologist, Dr. Curtis McCabe (Kurt Russell), who tries to determine the cause of David’s insanity. After recollection from an advertisement on television for a service called “Life Extension”, David and Dr. McCabe visit the Life Extension office in a skyscraper. They learn that they offer to put clinically-dead patients into cryonic suspension to be awakened in the future when cures may be available; the patients are given the option of a “lucid dream” to keep their mind occupied over the years. David recognizes the term, and escapes from Dr. McCabe’s control, shouting for the lucid dream’s “tech support”. Arriving in the now-empty lobby, David is met by the man from the bar, his tech support.
As the two ride an elevator up to impossibly tall heights, the man explains that David is a patient of Life Extension, and is experiencing his own lucid dream. David opted for the process after the accident, when he found his face could not be repaired, having said his farewells to Brian and Sofia and passing control of the company to a trusted adviser. David chose to start the lucid dream the morning after he passed out in the street outside the bar, under the “vanilla sky” from his mother’s original Monet paintings and reunited with Sofia. However, over the 150 years he has been in cryonic suspension, his lucid dream malfunctioned, turning into a nightmare and reintroducing Julianna and other unpredictable elements from David’s subconscious such as Dr. McCabe as a father-figure. As David and the man exit the elevator atop the huge skyscraper, the man offers David two choices: to be reinserted into the rectified lucid dream, or to wake up, the latter requiring David to take a leap of faith off the top of the building. The final choice is supposedly a subconscious one: David has always been terrified of heights, and this skyscraping, high-flying decision is his last. David opts to wake up, and takes a moment to say goodbye to the lucid dream versions of Brian, Dr. McCabe, and Sofia that have appeared on the roof. David jumps over the side, his memories flashing before his eyes, and wakes up moments before he hits the ground; the screen goes to gray and a woman’s voice tells David to open his eyes. The film ends with an extreme closeup of an eye opening up.
Link: Vanilla Sky at IMDB