Daily Archives: August 31, 2011

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I wanted to like Julia’s Eyes, really I did.  It’s been a long time since we’ve had a good blind-damsel-in-distress movie, maybe since Audrey Hepburn turned off the lights in 1967’s Wait Until Dark.  Alas, despite a handsome production, nifty direction, and some good acting, Julia’s Eyes is … dumb.

The thriller begins promisingly with the death of Julia’s twin sister Sara (both played by Belen Rueda), apparently by suicide.  Both women suffer from a degenerative eye disease.  Sara had gone completely blind, and it’s just a matter of time before Julia does, as well.  But was Sara’s death really a suicide?  Julia doesn’t believe so, but can she convince anyone else?  Have we seen this plot before?

Director Guillem Morales’s film goes wrong where nearly all films of this type do:  far-fetched storytelling.  The first half of the movie is basically a whodunit, but Who Did It becomes obvious early on.  Once we have that information, the movie turns into a routine killer-chasing-heroine exercise, with stale elements borrowed from The Silence of the Lambs, Rear Window, and yes, Wait Until Dark.

 

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Unlike its esteemed predecessors, Julia’s Eyes lacks originality.  Instead, it has an abundance of clichés:  When Julia has an opportunity to stab the killer with a knife, she jabs him in the leg — that way, he won’t die and can continue to chase her.  We are asked to believe that the bad guy, played by an actor blessed with movie-star looks, is angry at the world because he feels “invisible” in day-to-day life.  And then there are the scary scenes that turn out to be — you guessed it — nightmares.

Some people will be drawn to this movie because one of its producers is Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth).  But as we’ve learned from Steven Spielberg, attaching a big name to a film project is no guarantee of quality.  Julia’s Eyes is frustratingly stupid.      Grade:  C+

 

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Director:  Guillem Morales  Cast:  Belen Rueda, Lluis Homar, Pablo Derqui, Francesc Orella, Joan Dalmau, Boris Ruiz, Daniel Grao, Clara Segura, Catalina Munar  Release:  2010

 

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