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Eye of the Beholder
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Product Description

This problematic thriller boasts several inspired elements, especially intelligent, committed performances by leads Ewan McGregor and Ashley Judd, both of whom have become hot commodities. Fans should definitely investigate their incisive work here, even if McGregor and Judd's talents are ultimately cast into a lost cause.

Judd plays a black-widow serial murderer named Joanna, who is systematically seducing and killing men who, in one way or another, are outside the ordinary. (Among her victims is a blind mulimillionaire, played by Patrick Bergin, and a nasty loser portrayed, surprisingly, by Jason Priestley.) McGregor is on board as a British intelligence agent who happens to be following her. Referred to as "the Eye," McGregor's operative is a haunted man abandoned years before by his wife and daughter. His isolation is such that he holds imaginary conversations with the latter, and she advises him to take pity on Joanna and protect her even as she carries on with her monstrous mission.

That's precisely what he does, at a distance, ushering in comparisons to Hitchcock's classics about voyeurism and obsession, particularly Vertigo and Rear Window. (Allusions to Francis Coppola's The Conversation are unavoidable as well.) But despite the great material (the 1980 source novel by Marc Behm was highly praised by The New York Times) and a fascinating cast (including Genevi¨¨ve Bujold and k.d. lang), Eye of the Beholder bogs down in Stephan Elliott's often thoughtless, obvious direction. Elliott (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) grinds down several members of the cast by insisting on dreary, one-note performances, and he makes a long movie seem even longer by telegraphing story twists and other developments long before they happen. Justice would be served if one could extract Judd and McGregor's appearances here and graft them onto a better movie, but so it goes. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • Huh??
    I'm all for off-beat psychological thriller. The key word here is: thriller. Eye of the Beholder is psychological, but it is not thrilling. A good thriller calls for good character development, something which this movie plainly ignores. And no, a one-minute flash-back by Judd in the middle of the movie is NOT good character development in my book.

    Still the movies begins with much promise - a secret agent doing surveillance on a suspect is instead becomes a witness to his death by a smart, beautiful, and obviously dangerous woman. This is the classic shy/geeky guy meets hot/rebellious babe with a twist! But from there, the movie begins a downward spiral that even Trent Reznor never reached. Seriously, if the filmmakers want us, the audience, to feel sympathetic for a staller and a serial killer, they need to provide better reasons than one has his wife and daughter leave him and the other is abandoned by her father.

    Without the emotional attachment that comes with good character development, the audience is reduced to mere spectators who watch two loonies doing things that don't make much sense for an audience who don't much care. Furthermore, as good actors as McGregor and Judd are, they don't have chemistry.

    And after sitting through this pile of manure, thinking there must be some sort of payoff at the end but it never came; I was left wondering: If his daughter really means more to him than anything in the world, why oh why doesn't the McGregor character invests all the time, money, and effort he uses to stall Judd; to find his daughter?...more info

  • Actors good- movie bad
    As stated in the title, Ashley Judd and Ewan McGregor are great at portraying their character, but the direction of the movie was horrible. It was very disappointing to see great performances by actors lost in a movie that seemed slapped together....more info
  • Ashley Judd is only actor who can make kd lang seem wasted!
    I never would have expected kd lang to be an actor one would much be pulling for. But as a voice of reason trying to reign in the obsessive indulgence of "The Eye" (played by Ewan MeGregor), lang's character is the one we can most sympathize with herein. It might have worked to make lang look like a character actor to take note of. But what dooms it all to failure is Ashley Judd playing an absurdly extreme caricature of her already well-know "ballbuster" persona. As such the movie plays like a nightmare. Not in an entertaining sense, but as if the viewer is caught in the nightmare of having to watch the movie -- indeed a nightmare of living in a world where such a movie would ever be made and deemed entertaining. The mood is all totally putrid and the story beyond preposterous....more info
  • A Tangled Web of Intrigue.....
    This review refers to the VHS(Columbia/Tristar) Edition of "Eye of the Beholder"......

    A government detective, (Ewan McGregor) gets entangled in the web of a Black Widow style murderess(Ashley Judd)and becomes obssessed with her world. It is a psychological thriller that will captivate you and a story that is as intricate as the web itself.

    "Eye", is given the assignment of locating his boss' son. He uses the most technically advanced equipment and sets up surveillance and soon discovers there is more to this mystery than meets the eye. He discovers a woman who is wooing then killing her male companions. He becomes intrigued, and then obsessed as he follows her from state to state, sinking deeper and deeper into her world. What he sees is a woman with a deep rooted rage from being abandonded as a child.

    Our hero is not without his own deep rooted psychological problems though. He is a father whose own little girl was taken away from him, and the guilt he feels has him wanting to protect this murderess from a distance. It is a dangerous journey from start to finish.

    This story of obssesion is compelling, although oft times confusing. I've watched it a few times now and there are still questions in my mind. I was never really sure who he worked for or how he manages to always find her(even after he has lost all of his equipment). But I find myself more intrigued with each viewing.

    I was trying to decide between 3 or 4 stars with this one, and the performances of this cast, actually kicked this film a notch for me. Ashley Judd and Ewan McGregor are haunting in their performances. Jason Priestly also adds greatly as a demented drug abuser, and it's always a treat when Genevieve Bujold turns up in any film. Also rounding out the cast is K.D. Lang and Patrick Bergin.There is a haunting musical score and it was directed by Stephan Elliot.

    If you like movies like "The Pledge"(although this one is not quite at that level), or you are a Ewan McGregor fan you should check this one out.

    The VHS has a good picture and is in Dolby Surround.

    Get the popcorn ready and enjoy.....Laurie...more info

  • i like it
    i like this movie a lot ! It is an interesting movie. I think people should go see it !...more info
  • Great movie; BAD ending!
    Let me start out by saying that despite the slow movement of the film, i really dug it. I wouldn't consider it a thriller so much as a psychological exploration into the minds of two deranged halves of the same coin. Ewan McGregor (the eye) has lost his daughter, his wife, and his mind is starting to slip (as noted by the fact that the only person he really truly talks to in most of the movie is the imaginary spectre of his daughter).Joanne (Ashley Judd) has lost her father, her innocence, and her mind is already long gone.
    Both of them are victims of loneliness, socipathological tendencies, and pain that they never seem to show. Both of them are so ice cold throughout the movie - until something triggers them and you see just how much pain they must be in. And how much pain they are causing.
    McGregor and Judd do great in this movie - although they do lack chemistry. This doesn't hinder the movie though since you almost never see them together. McGregor chases, stalks, hunts her around the world in her desperate flee from the police and herself. He grows to understand and accept her completley, as demonstrated by the way he predicts her moves towards the end.
    The thing that really ruins this movie is just that - the ending. It's terrible. The whole movie builds up to this climax of them meeting and .... well it's disappointing to say the least. And confusing.
    Now if someone could just get ahold of the script and the actors and make the ending CLIMATIC instead of ANTICLIMATIC. Have them kill eachother or themselves or something anything but the horrible thing they have patched in and called a conclusion....more info
  • Off-Beat Suspense/Action Movie?
    It's not your run-of-the-mill suspense or action movie. It's a strange trip following two fractured lives. (Ashley Judd, Ewan Mcgregor) Not a film for everybody, it's a character study in despair and loneliness--and I'll watch many times in the future....more info
    Gee, I just had an awful thought. What if I had just landed on a spaceship from Mars, and I saw EYE OF THE BEHOLDER as my introduction to movies? Then suppose someone were to ask me what movie star I like best. I would have no answer to give exept K.D Lang! In this movie movie she keeps it all together while trapped in a twilight zone in which the world might as well be one big institution for the criminally insane, for all her contact with it goes. Yes, a movie that can make K.D. Lang look good compared to the rest of the cast is quite an accomplishment. Still, it is a losing battle. Despite her touch of sanity, sitting through EYE OF THE BEHOLDER is qutie an accomplishment too....more info
  • Kooky but interesting
    I kind of liked this movie. Thought McGregor and Judd dance around each other's worlds it's very interesting to see the half bits and pieces of another person's life through someone's infatuated eyes. We're never quite sure who is more insane in this film, her for her actions or him for his spying. And in the end that makes this film interesting as characters interacting. Though it may leave a casual watcher dissatisfied because it doesn't sum everything up into a neat bow, it does present a good story....more info
  • correction
    i just want to make a correction, in the editorial Tom Keogh states that the blind millionaire is one of ashley judd's character's victims when in fact he is the only one she doesn't kill, and is the only one she truly loved, ewan mcgregors charactor kills the blind millionaire out of jealousy.

    this movie is really good, parts of it are confusing and negligible, but its really interesting.

    ...more info
  • Eye of the Beholder
    This arrived very fast. I was really surprised. What can I say about this movie, it is spellbinding. You don't want to tke yours eyes off it for a minute for you might miss something. I watch it over and over (not every day) and always see something I had missed before. Buy it, it is GREAT!!!!
    Ashley Judd is super !!...more info
  • Where's the rest of the movie?
    You'll find yourself asking this when this movie unexpectedly just "ends". I'm no movie cynic and I can usually find something to like in even the worst of films, but this one had the poorest, most bewildering ending I've ever seen. It made absolutely NO sense....more info