All I See Is You (2016)

  • Time: 110 min
  • Genre: Drama | Mystery
  • Director: Marc Forster
  • Cast: Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, Yvonne Strahovski, Ahna O’Reilly


A blind woman’s relationship with her husband changes when she regains her sight and discovers disturbing details about themselves.

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  • All I See is You, directed by Marc Forster and starring a riveting Blake Lively, often resembles an episode of Showtime’s erotic anthology series Red Shoe Diaries that has been unnecessarily stretched to a feature-length film. What could have been an intriguing observation of male insecurity in the face of a woman’s newfound sense of the power of her sexuality instead becomes an aimless and unfocused mess.

    Lively is Gina, visually impaired for most of her life as a result of a car accident that killed both her parents. She resides in Bangkok and is happily married to the doting and attentive James (Jason Clarke) with whom she’s trying to start a family. While he’s off at work, she spends her time mostly padding about in their luxurious apartment, swimming at the local pool, or giving guitar lessons to her next door neighbour’s child. After she undergoes a corneal transplant that restores sight in her right eye, the first sign that the couple’s dynamic is about to change is when she sees James’ face for the first time, remarking that he looks different from what she pictured, an initially innocuous remark that soon reveals itself to be the first puncture in his masculinity.

    “Are you afraid she’ll leave you for some better-looking guy?” his brother-in-law Ramon (Miguel Fernandez) jokes when the couple come to Spain for a visit. Indeed, James is increasingly uncomfortable with the changes that his wife is undergoing, whether it be her doubting that he booked the same exact room that they stayed in for their honeymoon, dressing in sexier clothing, or becoming the more dominant sexual partner. His discomfort does not go unnoticed by Gina who wonders, “Did you love me more before?” “I could ask you the same thing,” he responds.

    Forster and co-screenwriter Sean Conway gloss over the complexities wrought by their scenario and instead spackle on more and more ludicrous elements, the most head-scratching of which finds Ramon coated in red paint and wearing a dress and a subsequent sequence which takes place in a Spanish sex club. By the time the film reaches its final stretch, the whole affair is weighed down with such incoherence that even James’ act of desperation to hold on to his wife becomes ridiculous rather than chilling.

    At least the film looks stunning. Cinematographer Matthias Koenigswieser creatively conveys Gina’s way of seeing the world – images are rendered as if via a watery kaleidoscope – and also offers breathtaking images such as an upside down underwater shot that has Gina tiptoeing like a ballerina along the surface of a swimming pool. Unfortunately, despite its lovely compositions and Lively’s fine portrayal, All I See is You is undermined by its one-dimensional storytelling, lack of momentum, and baffling absurdity.

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