love love love
pain pain pain
forget the pain…
forget the love?
Ok, so where do we start? This is one of those elusive movies that are utterly original, brilliant and complex. I can easily see myself writing thousands of words and not nearly be done with it, but what good would that do? Further down the line, a rambling, chuck-full-o’-spoilers piece might be appropriate, but right now I don’t even want to dissect what I’m feeling too much. You know, like when you meet someone new and you feel that this might be It, that Love you’d almost given up on finding? I don’t know about you, but when that happens to me I don’t want to blabber or even think about it too much, in fear of jinxing it or building up expectations that can’t possibly be met.
For now, all that you need to know, really, is that “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is a damn great movie and that you should go see it, NOW!
You’re still here? Bugger, so I’ll have to write an actual review to convince you. Ok, where do we start? Oh, that Beck song playing over the end credits is awesome. And that final shot? Perfect. The last scene itself is amazing, I personally knew this is where the movie was going early on, but it still moved the crap out of me when we got there. The goodbye scene, too. That whole middle part, what can I say, wow. You know, that chase through Malkovich’s subconscious late into Being John Malkovich? With this screenplay, Charlie Kaufman developed that fascinating flash into an extended, endlessly surprising sequence that takes up most of the running length. Good times, man. And this was obvious right from the start, right from the very start, even before the opening credits I was thinking “Best of the Year”.
That opening, the first meeting between Joel Barish (Carrey) and Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet)… It’s oh so quiet, yet casually kooky, and you can’t help falling in love with Clementine, blue-haired, impulsive, kinda nuts but so adorable. “Why do I fall in love with every woman I see who shows me the least bit of attention?” YES! Kaufman gets that feeling, you know, that feeling of longing with every fiber of your being to meet someone, some crazy/beautiful girl that would… save you, dammit. Not every one gets this, but if you deeply love the work of Paul Thomas Anderson and Cameron Crowe, you get it.
You know what the book says, “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it”, and “You may be through with the past, but the past’s not through with you.” Yeah.
The dialogue. Quotable all the way, funny, insightful… That was also true of the Kaufman scripts Spike Jonze directed, but here Michel Gondry (who also directed the not-so-well received Kaufman-written “Human Nature”) is every bit as inspired as the material he’s working from. The visuals are simply stunning, with transitions and illusions that would impress even David Copperfield, but even more astonishing is Gondry’s work with his all-star cast.
From bit parts (Jane Adams, David Cross) to supporting performances (Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst) to the leads, the acting is splendid throughout. Kate Winslet is monumentally lovable and affecting as the flamboyant Clementine, and Jim Carrey completely disappears into Joel. He’s playing a shy, low-talking, introspective kinda guy – hardly typecasting! – and he’s 100% convincing.
Still here!?! Hum, the score is by invaluable PTA collaborator Jon Brion, that do anything for you? There’s a scene in which a stoned Kirsten Dunst dances on a bed in only her panties and a barely there white tank top? More seriously, this is a work of art doubling as great entertainment. What more can I say?
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” See it!