Thursday, December 8, 2016

Now on Netflix: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – Directed by Michel Gondry; Written by Charlie Kaufman; Cinematography by Ellen Kuras; Starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, Tom Wilkinson and David Cross.

By Kenny Howell

One of the best movies of the decade, and the best in quite some time tops the list in 2004. It is from the brilliant mind of Charlie Kaufman (Anomalisa) who stepped away from the bizarre comedies to write this stunningly heartfelt romance about Joel (Jim Carrey), a man who pays a company to erase the memory of a girlfriend (Kate Winslet) he recently broke up with.

The movie, for the most part, is played out in Joel’s head who, halfway through the process, realizes he doesn’t want to lose the memories. The breakup was painful, and he is really angry at the moment, but he doesn’t want to lose all those special moments he shared with her. Joel has no idea what to do with the memories that were good, and almost wants to go back and latch onto those and never let go. It is painful now, but those special moments hold a special place. 
To add to the ingenious script is the mad man behind the camera Michel Gondry. Gondry doesn’t believe in using a lot of computer generated special effects, he likes the challenge of trying to create a world through camera trickery, and that is very true of this film. The set was filled with trap doors and all sorts of gimmicks to perfectly capture the sort of dream world inside Joel’s head. In a way, it seems to make the world seem more realistic because it is more organic feeling. The computer effects can often easily be spotted, but Gondry tricks you with classic movie magic, much like people directors like George Meilies did in the early days of cinema.

The entire cast is fantastic, especially Winslet (Steve Jobs), who was nominated for an Oscar. Her multi-colored hair siren is lovable, but also distant, much like Joel felt for her. Also, Winslet’s American accent is flawless. She really can do anything. 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ****

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