Vanilla Sky is a 2001 American psychological thriller film directed, co-produced and co-written by Cameron Crowe. The film is an English-language remake of the 1997 Spanish movie Abre los ojos (Open Your Eyes), the screenplay for which was written by Alejandro Amenábar and Mateo Gil. The film stars Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz (in a repeat of her performance in Abre los ojos) and Cameron Diaz, with Jason Lee and Kurt Russell.
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David Aames (Tom Cruise) was the wealthy owner of a large publishing firm in New York City after the death of his father. From a prison cell, David, in a prosthetic mask, tells his story to psychiatrist Dr. Curtis McCabe (Kurt Russell): enjoying the bachelor lifestyle, he is introduced to Sofia Serrano (Penélope Cruz) by his best friend, Brian Shelby (Jason Lee), at a party. David and Sofia spend a night together talking, and fall in love. When David's former girlfriend, Julianna "Julie" Gianni (Cameron Diaz), hears of Sofia, she attempts to kill herself and David in a car crash. While Julie dies, David remains alive, but his face is horribly disfigured, forcing him to wear a mask to hide the injuries. Unable to come to grips with the mask, he gets overly drunk on a night out at a bar with Sofia, and he is left to wallow in the street.
David is awakened the next day by Sofia, who apologizes for not helping him, and brings him home. The two continue to see each other, and David has his face repaired. Despite the seemingly-perfect life, David finds oddities, such as brief visions of his distorted face, and a man (Noah Taylor) at a bar that tells him he can change the world. One day, when he goes to Sofia's apartment, he finds Julie there instead; all of the previous mementos of Sofia now showing Julie's face. Angry and confused, David suffocates Julie, and is later arrested and placed in a mental institution. The court psychologist Curtis talks about the incident with David over several sessions. During one interview, David sees a nearby TV advertisement for "Life Extension", a company that specializes in cryonic suspension, finding the name familiar. Under Dr. McCabe's guard, David is taken to the Life Extension offices, where the salesclerk explains they freeze terminally-ill people just before the point of death in hopes a cure for their ailment will be available in the future, placing them in a lucid dream state. David becomes anxious and breaks free of Dr. McCabe, realizing he is in his own lucid dream that has gone wrong, and calls for tech support.
David finds himself in the empty lobby of the offices, and the man who he has seen earlier at the bar appears, claiming to be David's tech support. As they ride up in an elevator to the top of an impossibly-tall building, the man explains that David has been in cryonic sleep for 150 years, after he nearly killed himself with a drug overdose. David learns that when he signed a contract with the cryogenics company preserving him, he opted to start the lucid dream shortly after his drunken night when Sofia left him, under the "vanilla sky" from a Monet painting. However, during his sleep, the dream went horribly wrong and attempted to incorporate elements from his subconscious, such as placing Julie in for Sofia and creating a father-figure like Dr. McCabe. As they arrive at the top of the building, the man offers David a choice - to either be reinserted into the corrected lucid dream, or to wake up by taking a literal leap of faith off the roof. David decides to wake up, and envisions Sofia and Brian to say his goodbyes. David jumps off the building, his life flashing before his eyes, and blacks out moments before hitting the ground. A voice commands him to "open your eyes", and the film ends with David opening his eyes.
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