REVIEW: Eyes Glued To ‘All Eyes Off Me’

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All Eyes Off Me - But Why Tho

Hadas Ben Aroya’s All Eyes Off Me is brimming with graphic sex scenes. I don’t consider myself especially prudish, and still, I had a hard time feeling like I was scandalizing myself watching it. I averted my eyes, I checked how long it would keep going on for, and how many more times I’d be watching such graphic scenes. And All Eyes Off Me seems to know that’s exactly how the average audience will probably react. This is a movie, told in three loosely related vignettes, that perfectly diagnoses what is ailing young people’s sex and romantic lives.

It begins with a brief first portion where Danny (Hadar Katz) is searching for Max (Leib Levin) to tell him she’s pregnant. But she keeps getting sidetracked by an apparent partner of some kind who won’t stop trying to snog her. In the second vignette, Max’s new partner, Avishag (Elisheva Weil), tells him she wants their sex to be rougher and more explicitly violent, to which he sheepishly obliges. And in the third, Avishag is housesitting for Dror (Yoav Hayt), an older man she often dog walks for, and decides to try and have sex with him. There are a lot of great nuances in each portion of the movie, but the real throughline between them all is conflating communication with honesty.

All Eyes Off Me depicts twenty-somethings who seem so sure of their sexual liberation. They’re willing to tell strangers about their abortions, partners about their fantasies, and employers about their illicit desires. But they’re still so naive. They can’t talk about how they feel. They can’t talk about when they’re uncomfortable or when it’s too rough. They can’t just say they’re feeling lonely or manic or self-destructive. They talk about being queer but in the most homophobic way. They claim to see attraction beyond physical features but are still fatphobic while doing so. They’re brave enough to tell people they’re pregnant but not the person they most want to tell. And all the while you’re watching these characters feign sexual freedom and progressivism, you’re averting your own eyes from the scene. You’re no better than they are. You think you can handle the explicit content and still can’t help but turn away or cringe.

All of this subtext works because All Eyes Off Me masterfully uses awkward camera angles, stark color, deep pauses, and cringy dialogue moments to craft exactly the amount of tension necessary to keep you in discomfort without disengaging you. These elements betray the subjects’ juvenility, but they also ensure that you’re not just perceiving everything as some genial romance. And the three acts each offer a different kind of tensity: claustrophobia, ego, and grotesque. Differentiating the tenor of each segment keeps them interesting—the variations on the theme equally compelling.

All Eyes Off Me is profound in its exploration of communication and dishonesty in love and sex. Weil stands out as the most interesting performance unto itself, but as a whole, the movie does an excellent job demonstrating the loneliness and sadness of being convinced you’re fulfilled when you’re not.

All Eyes Off Me is available now on VOD.


All Eyes Off Me
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

All Eyes Off Me is profound in its exploration of communication and dishonesty in love and sex. Weil stands out as the most interesting performance unto itself, but as a whole, the movie does an excellent job demonstrating the loneliness and sadness of being convinced you’re fulfilled when you’re not.

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