The 2001 film “Vanilla Sky” combines surrealist elements with lucid dreaming and the unbridled subconscious. “Vanilla Sky,” starring Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Jason Lee, Kurt Russell, and Penélope Cruz, was panned by reviewers during its release but has since gained a cult following, as seen by the film’s current audience score of 72% on Rotten Tomatoes (compared to a critic score of 42%).
Despite this, the film was commercially successful, grossing about $202 million worldwide on a budget of about $70 million (via The Numbers).
David Aames (Cruise) is the protagonist of “Vanilla Sky” and a wealthy socialite who has inherited a sizable publishing company. Aames, a free-spirited womanizer, meets Sofia Serrano (Cruz), and the two fall in love after only one night together.
This obviously upsets Aames’ current girlfriend, Julie Gianni (Diaz), who then causes a vehicle accident that kills Gianni and leaves Aames disfigured. This is a much bigger deal to the story than it seems at first, and the rest of the movie delves into a shifting plot about love and fate that becomes a nightmare world of uncertainty.
Here is the ending of “Vanilla Sky,” explained.
Vanilla Sky Ending Explained
Finally, in Vanilla Sky’s climax, David and McCabe meet with Rebecca Dearborn, who briefs them on L.E. & Full Consciousness In Dreaming David begins to worry when he finally understands he is dreaming.
He leaves the house in search of help from the Tech department since he finally feels ready to wake up and deal with the real world. There he meets Edmund, who is in charge of L.E.’s digital infrastructure support.
Edmund sets the record straight about the events in his waking life and his lucid dreams. Additionally, he tells him that David has been in suspended animation for the past 150 years.
However, returning to reality will not be simple, as he will need to rappel down from a towering building. And David has a serious phobia of heights. He is given the option to prolong his lucid dream or choose to wake up by his friend Edmund.
David soon comes to understand that McCabe was just a projection of his own mind. Next, Edmund inquires as to whether or not he has any dying requests. David also desired one final encounter with Sofia in order to tell her how he felt.
Then, he walks out of the building and into the real world, where he overhears a woman remark, “Relax, David. Awaken your senses!
The movie opens with David Aames telling Psychiatrist McCabe about his life while behind bars and wearing a mask.
David, in his past life, is depicted as a wealthy Cassanova who is never without a group of attractive women. It includes Julie Gianni, who is one of them. David and Julie are just pals who happen to share a bed occasionally.
His best buddy Brian introduced him to Sofia at a party one day. A night in Sofia’s apartment led to the beginnings of a romantic relationship between the two. However, Julie had been following them the whole time and they had no idea.
David was on his way out of Sofia’s place when he was approached by Julie, who offered him a ride. In the car, Julie admits her affection for David and her envy of Sofia. As she begins to see that everything is one-sided, she almost kills herself and David by driving the car off a bridge.
David, though, made it through with a dislocated arm and a repaired face. His face was too badly damaged for surgeons to fix during the operation, so they suggested he have a facial prosthetic.
He accepted the prosthetic mask and went about wearing it since he saw no other option. When he realized there was nothing he could do, he felt hopeless. Brian saw David’s state and persuaded him to go out with him and Sofia, but David became intoxicated and insulted them at the bar. They eventually abandon them outside the nightclub.
Sofia discovered him the next day dozing off on the road. She confronted him with regret. She brought him back to her home and nursed his broken spirit back to health. The doctors also devised a procedure to rebuild his face after the severe scarring had healed.
He resumed his normal life after surgery but was troubled by recurring dreams about his disfigured face. David wakes up at Sofia’s with Julie in his bed. Very quickly, David becomes aware that he is still in his once-lucid dream, which has now turned into a terrifying nightmare.