Film fans have voted Vanilla Sky, the Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz update of Spanish film Open Your Eyes, as the most confusing film of all time.
As cinema audiences struggle to figure out what exactly happens in Chris Nolan’s new film Inception, over 2,000 members of LOVEFiLM, Europe’s largest subscription service streaming movies and TV episodes over the internet and sending DVDs by post, wracked their brains to vote in the poll of cinema confusion.
Cameron Crowe’s 2001 update Vanilla Sky tops the list with 16 per cent after confusing viewers with it’s mix of love, disfiguration and ‘Life Extension’, just beating David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, the bizarre tale of a confused car-crash victim (second with 15 per cent).
Cult film Donnie Darko is third in the list for baffling audiences with a combination of sleepwalking, time-travel and end-of-the-world premonitions (11 per cent). Originally a flop at the cinema, the Jake Gyllenhaal film has gone on to huge DVD success, perhaps a sign of the number of times needed to make sense of it all!
We’re still not sure what happened in the third Matrix film – The Matrix Revolutions, but it comes fourth on the list, topping its predecessors with an even more hard to follow plot of wars in an alternate reality (nine per cent).
Proving to be a calling-card of his directional style, Nolan also left us scratching our heads in fifth place with Memento, which starred Guy Pierce as an amnesiac in search of his wife’s killer. Of course it didn’t help viewers that most scenes were played in reverse chronological order along with plenty of red-herrings thrown in for good measure….talk about a headache (eight per cent).
Terry Gilliam’s tale of 12 Monkeys with Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt bemused audiences in sixth place (six per cent) – another film flitting back and forth in time to stop a deadly virus. Who knew there were no monkeys involved the whole time?
In seventh place with five per cent, funnyman Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet teamed up in the critically acclaimed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – the tale of an ‘erased’ relationship starting afresh – a film which seems simple, but really wasn’t. Shocking in eighth place (three per cent) is master of mystery Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction epic 2001: A Space Odyssey – a film of few words depicting human evolution, technology and extra-terrestrial life which is widely regarded as a cult classic despite being misunderstood by many.
Widely panned for its over-complicated plot exploring the concept of ‘Ego’, Guy Ritchie’s Revolver is in ninth place (two per cent) after Ritchie drew upon his Kabbalah religion to influence the film. Finally, the plot and narration of Kubrick’s ultra-violent A Clockwork Orange puzzled one per cent to complete the line-up.
The Top Ten Most Confusing Films of all Time are:
- Vanilla Sky (2001) – 16%
- Mulholland Drive (2001) – 15%
- Donnie Darko (2001) – 11%
- The Matrix Revolutions (2003) – 9%
- Memento (2000) – 8%
- 12 Monkeys (1995) – 6%
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – 5%
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – 3%
- Revolver (2005) – 2%
- 10. A Clockwork Orange (1971) – 1%
Other – 24%
Helen Cowley, Editor at LOVEFiLM commented:
“Looking at LOVEFiLM’s list of the most confusing films of all time, it’s clear that dreaming is the biggest cause of confusion for viewers. Switching from reality to dream sequences pulls the wool over our eyes and leaves us searching for the truth. Christopher Nolan is a true master of this and his latest film Inception is once again proof that he’s onto a winning, if baffling formula.”
“With LOVEFiLM’s choice of over 67,000 titles to watch either streamed to your PC or sent by post the hardest decision you’ll have to make is choosing what to watch first.”