Eye of the Beholder
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Eye of the Beholder is a 1999 mystery thriller film that employs magical realism. The film, based on Marc Behm s novel of the same name and a remake of Claude Miller s 1983 French thriller Deadly Circuit, is directed and adapted by Stephan Elliott.

Starring Ewan McGregor and Ashley Judd, the film is an international co-production of Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.


Stephen Wilson aka The Eye (Ewan McGregor) is an intelligence agent whose current assignment is to track down the socialite son of his wealthy boss and find out what trouble he has gotten himself into. This leads him to Joanna Eris (Ashley Judd), a serial killer who is in a relationship with the son, whom she murders. Stephen is a witness to the crime.

At Penn Station in Pittsburgh, Eris commits yet another murder, enabling Stephen to finally corner her as he prepares to call for backup. Instead of turning her in, Stephen follows her in an effort to save her. He hallucinates constantly that his young daughter – whom he hasn t seen since his ex-wife took custody of her – is with him, and comes to think of Eris as a vulnerable, lost child.

Stephen follows her across the country and through several murders. He soon discovers that Eris and her father were very poor and that he had abandoned her, explaining her pathological hatred of men. When Eris helps a rich blind man (Patrick Bergin) in an airport, the two become involved, fall in love and become engaged, and it looks like they might even live a happy life together. Stephen, who has witnessed all of this, is desperate to keep her from killing again. While the couple is on the way to the chapel for the wedding, Stephen shoots out one of their tires and the car crashes, killing Eris fiancé. Stephen follows a grief-stricken Eris as she takes off for the desert.

A drug addict named Gary (Jason Priestley) picks up Eris when her car dies, and tries to seduce her; when she rebuffs his advances, he beats her unconscious and injects her with heroin so he can rape her while she is unconscious. Stephen arrives just in time to save Eris and gives Gary a thorough beating. Eris loses her unborn baby before fleeing to Alaska, with Stephen on her trail.

In Alaska, Stephen gains the courage to ask out Eris, as he is a frequent patron of the diner at which she waitresses. They have a few drinks in the evening, both getting emotional, and Eris mentions where she would like to be buried when she dies. She then says she has nothing to offer and that he should leave her alone. The next day the police, as well as Eris s psychiatrist (Geneviève Bujold), come to the diner to arrest her. Stephen tries to save her, taking her to his trailer. There she is horrified to find out that he has been following her. She shoots him with Stephen s revolver, although she doesn t realize that he had loaded it with blank cartridges. She flees and he follows her on a motorcycle. He catches up to her, but she crashes her car onto an ice-covered lake, breaking through the ice. He then quickly pulls her out of the car, but she is badly injured. Before she dies in his arms, she tells him, “I wish you love”.


  • Ewan McGregor as Stephen Wilson/ The Eye / The Angel
  • Ashley Judd as Joanna Eris
  • Patrick Bergin as Alexander Leonard
  • Geneviève Bujold as Dr. Jeanne Brault
  • Jason Priestley as Gary
  • k.d. lang as Hilary
  • Steven McCarthy as Paul Hugo
  • Vlasta Vrána as Mr. Hugo, Sr.
  • David Nerman as Mickey Argyle
  • Jeanine Thierault as Nathy
  • Don Jordan as Toohey
  • Anne-Marie and Kaitlin Brown as Lucy Wilson


Box office

Despite opening in the United States at number-one during the Super Bowl weekend and grossing $6 million on its opening weekend, Eye of the Beholder was a financial failure in theaters, grossing $16.5 million domestically and $1.1 million internationally for a worldwide total of $17.6 million against a $35 million budget.

Critical response

The film received largely negative reviews, with critics panning the improbable and muddled plot, as well as Elliott s direction. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an approval rating of 9% based on 88 reviews, with an average score of 3.4/10. The site s consensus simply reads: Improbable and muddled. On Metacritic, the film has a 29/100 rating based on reviews from 26 critics, indicating generally unfavorable reviews . CinemaScore gave it a rating of F based on surveys from general audiences. It is notable for being the first film in over fifteen years since Bolero to receive that grade.

Year 1999
ReleaseDate 2000-01-28
RuntimeMins 109
RuntimeStr 1h 49min
Plot A private eye shadows a female serial killer of men all over the U.S. without her knowing as he, strangely enough, occasionally acts as her guardian angel.
Awards Awards, 1 nomination
Directors Stephan Elliott
Writers Marc Behm, Stephan Elliott
Stars Ewan McGregor, Ashley Judd, Patrick Bergin
Produced by Manon Bougie,Al Clark,Nicolas Clermont,Mark Damon,Charles Gassot,Jacqueline George,Grant Lee,Hilary Shor,Tony Smith
Music by Marius De Vries
Cinematography by Guy Dufaux
Film Editing by Sue Blainey
Casting By Mali Finn,Vera Miller,Nadia Rona
Production Design by Jean-Baptiste Tard
Art Direction by Réal Proulx
Set Decoration by Guy Blouin,Suzanne Cloutier,Sylvie Desmarais,Martine Kazemirchuk
Costume Design by Lizzy Gardiner
Makeup Department Marie-France Cardinal,Claudette B. Casavant,Melina Di Cristo,Francine Gagnon,Linda Gordon,Richard Hansen,Candace Neal,Ashlee Petersen
Production Management Adam Bardach,George Jardon,Gilles Perreault,Frederic Pichette
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Bobbie Blyle,Carl DeStardins,Trent Hurry,Jennifer Jonas,Jordan Waugh
Art Department Michel Brochu,Jean-Andre Carriere,Stephen Craig,Michèle Forest,Emmanuel Frechette,Suzanne Labrecque,Eric Lafrance,Étienne Lapointe-Proulx,Marco Lavallée,Blaise Lefebvre,Nadine Petit Clerc,Eric Vasseur
Sound Department Monique Bisson,Jo Caron,Martin Cazes,Jérôme Décarie,Nicolas Gagnon,Bernard Gariépy Strobl,Kirby Jinnah,Scott Jones,Claude La Haye,Benoit Leduc,Dominik Pagacz,Viateur Paiement,Guy Pelletier,Martin Pinsonnault,Francis Péloquin,Victoria Rose Sampson,Jean-Philippe Savard,Tony V. Stevens,Hans Peter Strobl,Michael Willis
Special Effects by Louis Craig,Thierry Craig,Pierre Côté,André Laforest,Jacques Langlois,Philippe Roberge,Martin Williams
Visual Effects by Michel Barrière,Louise Bertrand,Marie-Pierre Bouchard,Benoît Brière,Nicolas Cotta,Thierry Delattre,Luc Desmarais,Anouk Deveault-Moreau,George Jardon,François Lambert,Daniel Leduc,Patrick Legault,Charles Marchand,Sébastien Moreau,Michel Murdock,Pierre Raymond,Strad,Stéphane Stradella
Stunts Andy Bradshaw,Jason Cavalier,Marc Désourdy,Tom Farr,Jean Frenette,Ben Gauthier,Gilbert Larose Jr.,Stéphane Lefebvre,David McKeown,René Paiement,Michael Scherer,John Walsh
Camera and Electrical Department Michel Bernier,Yvan Brunet,Christian Chabot,François Daignault,Sylvaine Dufaux,Jacques Fortier,Alain Gagnon,Mike Gentile,Katerine Giguère,Serge Grenier,Robert Guertin,Corinne Joudiou,Denis Lamothe,Guy Lepine,Nathalie Moliavko-Visotzky,Dany Racine,Jocelyn Simard,Jan Thijs,André Tisseur,David Uloth,Steven J. Winslow
Casting Department Rosina Bucci,Mali Finn,Jessica Gee-George,Emily Schweber
Costume and Wardrobe Department Brett Cooper,André Valade
Editorial Department Claudine Blain,Marc Lussier,Isabelle Malenfant,Etienne Patry,Andrew Yuncken,Vladimir Zabransky
Location Management Anita Bensabat,Alain Dahan,Suzanne De Carufel,Sylvie Dufour,François Fauteux,Jean Poirier
Music Department Pete Davis,Felicity De Vries,Marius De Vries,Matt Dunkley,Dina Eaton,Electra Strings,Chris Elliott,Geoff Foster,Isobel Griffiths,Sally Herbert,Hannah Joseph,The London Session Orchestra,Everton Nelson,Mike Nielsen,Gary O Toole,Steve Sidelnyk,Jules Singleton,Alexis Smith,Gavyn Wright,Warren Zielinski
Script and Continuity Department Marie La Haye
Transportation Department Pierre Guay
Additional Crew Paul Barette,Michael Barnes,Maggy Belzile,Kamel Benameur,Jimmy Bridges,Chris Chrisafis,Lise Dagenais,Raymond Ducasse,Louise Dupré,Ida Durand,Bram Eisenthal,Isabelle Gendron,Joy Gilbert,Hélène Grimard,James Hieminga,Renée Hébert,Karen Jones,Christian Labrie,Pascale Marcotte,Hélène Muller,Guylaine O Reilly,Brent Radford,Sylvie Talbot,Robert Bobby Z Zajonc,Julia Alexander,Judy Sharinger
Genres Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Companies Ambridge Film Partnership, Behaviour Worldwide, Eye of the Beholder Ltd.
Countries Canada, UK, Australia, USA
Languages English
ContentRating R
ImDbRating 5
ImDbRatingVotes 15483
MetacriticRating 29
Keywords femme fatale,new york city,female serial killer,cigarette smoking,false identity