Discussion in 'Movies' started by Patrick Sun, Mar 20, 2004.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    [Movie trailer man voice]Imagine a world where you can erase your memories....[/Movie trailer man voice]

    Would you erase the painful memories? Should you erase them? Is your life for the better or worse if the painful memories were excised from your mind?

    At the core of this film, it is about that romantic/emotional/spiritual connection that finds a life of its own as two people find one another, and in each other they find a strong desire to engage in a shared intimacy, and when that relationship goes sour, is removing that experience the thing to do in order to "move on" with the rest of your life.

    Charlie Kauffman's script offers a peek into that process. The film gives an engaging glimpse of what it might look like when you realize that memories are important (but albeit during the process of removing them) and what the mind is willing to do to protect memories of while external forces engage in a seek-n-destroy of those memories. The film is very inventive in showing us the lengths to what the mind will do to store away memories that are finally considered important and precious. Some of the scenes feel like being in a lucid dream, but with something worthwhile very much at stake.

    I like the emotional core of this film, it gets to that place where memories of intimacy and relationships serve to provide a foundation to build on for the parties involved. Relationships are complex, the script doesn't pull any punches on the why's for it going sour, but it doesn't understate why the relationship was also something that should not have been erased or forgotten.

    The performances were uniformily good all around (Jim Carrey was reined in and believable, Kate Winslet was just dandy, and the supporting cast of Ruffalo, Wood, Wilkerson and Dunst shored up the film well).

    It's a challenging film in spots, and you'll want to replay it back in your mind as the film concludes.

    I give it 3.75 stars, or a grade of A-.
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    Real Name:
    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

  3. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

    Nov 5, 1998
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    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    10 of 10

    In Sunshine Kaufman is again exploring the inner working of the human mind as he did so well in Malkovich and Adaptation, but with far more poignancy than we saw in those films. By introducing this emotion he has written one of the most heartfelt romances in years. Gondry's direction much like his pal Spike Jonze's direction is a perfect visual match for Kaufman's imagination.

    The film also enjoys a stellar cast of Oscar caliber talent. Wilkinson and Winselt have been there recently, Wood just ended his run in the Oscar winning LOTR series, and Mark Ruffalo had a great turn in You Can Count on Me. Add to that the talented Kirsten Dunst and David Cross and you have a film overflowing with great acting.

    But at the center of it is Jim Carrey and its his emotions that pull us in and make us feel that deep longing for Winslet and make us appreciate the sense of loss he is going through. Carrey has been this good before in The Truman Show but this role provides a more obviously dramatic showcase, sprinkled lightly with a few moments of his great humor. If Depp and Murray can get noms then certainly Carrey has a very legitimate shot with this film.

    I've seen only 2 films in 2004, Dogville and Sunshine, both should be given very serious consideration in next year's Oscars. Both are films that get into your head, make you think and make you look at the world in a new way. I can't think of a higher compliment than that.
  4. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Aug 6, 2001
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    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Chuck Mayer
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a touching movie. I am not a devotee of Kaufman or auteur filmmaking (except when it's good [​IMG] ), or Carrey being dramatic, or of films the intelligentsia want us to not like so they can have them to themselves (or ourselves, you louts!). But I am not against any of those things either. I simply like to watch movies that educate, entertain, or enthrall.

    The very best movies are illuminating. One of my favorite authors once said in an interview that the hardest thing to write is truth, and it's the only thing that ever really lasts. The movie is, first and foremost, emotionally truthful. It's one of the saddest films I've ever watched, and certainly one of the most hopeful.

    Watching Jim Carrey react to the emotional devastation of a) losing Clementine, b) being "completely forgotten" by Clementine, and ultimately (and most painfully) c) losing those cherished memories of Clementine was a treat. Not in a sadistic way, simply in a reaffirming way. Cherishing memories, good and bad, is not nostalgia or living in the past; it's simply recognizing and understanding who we are, and how we got to be that way.

    Just as important were the rest of Joel's memories: his main humiliation scene (the one in his bed) was f***ing hysterical. How many of us could even conceive of sharing something that awful to save the memory of one we love? Funny because it's true :b

    The direction was very complementary of the story, and I thoroughly enjoyed the creativity. The acting was some of the best I had seen, from all players. A special note to the two leads, who built a real relationship from disjointed and non-traditional scenes. That was the engine of the movie. Kate Winslet is luminous, and lights up the screen when she's on. I also simply liked her in the 70's get-up and boots [​IMG]

    The end is open to a little debate, but I felt it boiled down to the old adage...better to have loved and lost than never loved at all. Joel, even knowing that the little ticks we love in a new relationship are often the things we despise just months later, still wants to try again. Because those little ticks aren't really that important.

    Very romantic movie. Loved it [​IMG]

  5. Stephen_L

    Stephen_L Supporting Actor

    Mar 1, 2001
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    Would you erase the pain if you could?

    This is the question asked by Charles Kaufman's brilliant and deeply affecting film, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In the film Joel (Jim Carrey) is an emotional wreck, having ended a love affair with the impulsive Clementine (Kate Winslet). To add insult to injury, he learns that not only did they separate, but Clementine has erased all memory of their affair thanks to the memory wipe technology of Lacuna, Inc. Impulsively, Joel seeks the same treatment and we are taken on a trip through the rabbit hole as we watch Joel's mind enduring the erasure of Clementine while the Lacuna technicians watch. Joel discovers too late the mistake he's made. In his hurt, he'd forgotten all the treasured moments he'd shared with Clementine and fights heroically to save them. I won't spoil the twists and turns of the story by revealing more. Kaufman has made several dazzling, brilliant mind-game films (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich) and this one stands proudly among them. What distinguishes "Eternal Sunshine" is the profound emotion and heart that suffuses the story. I choked up more than once as Joel wrestles vainly to save precious fragments of his time with Clementine. With each defeat he soldiers on, desperate not to lose the little of Clementine left to him. The ending which I will not spoil is the most intensely romantic, yet realistic and unsentimental I've seen in years. I entered this film expecting a comical mind-game; I left with one of the most touching romances I've seen in years.

    The acting from all the principles is first rate, but special praise must be given to Jim Carrey. I am not a fan of his comedies, but his work here is so powerful and winning that I hope the Motion Picture Academy will remember him come next February.

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 10 [​IMG] out of 10
  6. CharlieD

    CharlieD Extra

    Oct 24, 2000
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    Charlie Kaufman is an amazing writer, and this maybe his most interesting and insightful story. Unfortunately I felt that Gaundry's choices (and to be fair, Kaufman was very much a collaborator) often took away from my enjoyment of the film. There are fantastic sequences (the scene where the house crumbles around them comes to mind), but too often I felt like the editing and order of the scenes did little to add to the story and often distracted from the emotional arc of Carrey's character.

    All in all, I truely enjoyed the film and hope to see more like it. Being a fan of Gaundry's video work and Kaufman's writing, perhaps my expectations were too high. It was certainly a difficult script to shoot, and the job they did was commendable, but with all the fantastic ideas in the movie, I felt a little disappointed that there weren't any truely amazing moments.

    3.5 of 5
  7. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

    Jan 12, 1999
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    Monroe, LA
    Real Name:
    Tim Glover
    Saw this film last night and was deeply moved. Really want to see this again and absorb everything more. Wasn't expecting this kind of film or the techniques used. There were moments that were awkward and uncomfortable, and then moments of laughter, and reflection.

    Chuck's review hit it head on for me so I won't restate it.

    Kate Winslet. Wow. She captivated me throughout. Carrey, another favorite of mine was very convincing.

    Right now, I give it 4.75 Stars out of 5. Might get moved to 5 on the 2nd go round.
  8. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Aug 24, 2001
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    From the quirky, post-modern existentialist mind of possibly the only current screenwriter who's a household name, Charlie Kaufmann's script lovingly transformed into an achingly beautiful and stormy portrayal of what I consider to be the most moving, honest examination of relationships in cinema for a very, very long time.

    Jim Carrey continues to shoot for an Oscar nod and this time it may be justified. His brand of schmaltz actually has a place here and this is the first character he's ever played I can relate to. The infinitely adorable Kate Winslet displays her talent in all its glory, casting all doubts aside that she is one of our most talented starlets (and granting a long-held wish to us men smitten with her who prayed to the God of Cinema, "Please cast Ms Winslet in a GOOD movie and which doesn't end with her drowning or possibly drowning!").

    The plot is absurd, as have been all of Kaufmann's plots (Being John Malkovish, Adaptation, etc). And, like those movies, it plays with structures and toys with the audience's intellect. But unlike those films, this movie has heart- so much heart, that it might breaks yours. The genius of it is that is not maudlin or saccharine, qualities that have put romances or romantic comedies off my cinematic radar as a movie-goer. Without getting into too many details, the film accurately channels some basic truths about love:
    - We are either doomed or blessed (depending on how you look at it) to repeat our mistakes.
    - The aspects of a lover's personality that you love will also be responsible for that which you shall come to hate.
    - Our memories define us and our relationship to others.
    - Kate Winslet is gorgeous no matter what color her hair is.

    As Joel (Jim Carrey) fights to hold onto to his memories of his love, we cheer for his eventual self-destruction, as he fights for his right to suffer, because it is in the suffering that we re-affirm our existence. When you want to caress and then smack Clementine (Winslet), you remember the blessed insanity of all your relationships- well, the ones that matter, anyway.

    Besides the principles, the cast is peppered with excellent and prominent actors who serve to expound on the plot and swell out the principles behind the film in charming fashion.
  9. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Oct 26, 1998
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    While Being John Malkovich remains Charlie Kaufman’s quirkiest and funniest film yet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is another wonderful film from the same talented writer, which examines male and female relationships with the same eccentric element in Kaufman’s story beautifully executed by director Michel Gondry.

    The fine performances of Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson, Kirsten Dunst and Elijah Wood elevates Eternal Sunshine to one of the best films so far this year and another great entry to the list of films dealing with memory loss and reverse order narrative.


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