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What Does The Ending Of Vanilla Sky Really Mean?

Unravelling Cameron Crowe's greatest mystery.

Arriving a year after Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe€™s Vanilla Sky, for many, signalled the beginning of the end of an illustrious career. Since then, Crowe's gone from bomb Elizabethtown to the worst-reviewed film of his career, Aloha. Dismissed as a failure on release, however, Vanilla Sky isn€™t quite the disaster critics of 2001 would have you believe. While Crowe€™s mix of rom-com cutesiness (complete with woefully outdated soundtrack) and intense, dreamy drama doesn€™t entirely work €“ it€™s sometimes like watching two ill-fitting movies crashing into each other €“ Vanilla Sky is intriguingly thick with ideas. Vanilla Sky€™s thoughtful fantasy side is, surprisingly for Crowe, much more effective than its romantic inclinations, and it€™s here where the film shines brightest. Built to confuse and provoke discussion, Vanilla Sky doesn€™t come with one or two definitive endings €“ it€™s rather completely open-ended. According to Crowe, there are five possible interpretations of Vanilla Sky€™s climax, but on top of those there€™s still more going on. As the follow-up to arguably the director€™s most successful movie, Vanilla Sky has all the hallmarks of a vanity project €“ it€™s over-long, over-stuffed, expensive-looking and indulgent. But what makes Vanilla Sky so interesting is that Crowe throws seemingly every idea he€™s ever had at the wall, then leaves the viewer to make up their own mind as to what they€™ve just witnessed.
Contributor
Contributor

Lover of film, writer of words, pretentious beyond belief. Thinks Scorsese and Kubrick are the kings of cinema, but PT Anderson and David Fincher are the dashing young princes. Follow Brogan on twitter if you can take shameless self-promotion: @BroganMorris1