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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Old 03-20-04, 01:22 AM
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If any of you know me and talk to me away from the message boards, you more than likely know that my personal favorite film of all time is Memento. When I first saw that movie, it just blew me away. I became obsessed with the concept and the film itself. It's been a few years ago since I first saw Memento in the theater, and I didn't think that I'd ever see a film that I enjoyed more than Memento, especially already.

However, with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I might just be able to say just that. After months of waiting for this one to be released, I finally was able to check it out tonight.

Wow.

I've seen Memento over and over again, so I can't really say for sure that I enjoyed Eternal Sunshine more, but I do believe that once I watch it a few more times to really let everything sink in, I'll be able to say it without a doubt.

I checked this film out right before I saw Dawn of the Dead (yep, double duty for me tonight), and the first thought I had after leaving the theater was that I might as well not even watch another film for a while, because no way in hell could anything even come close to the perfection of Eternal Sunshine.

Charlie Kaufman is a freaking genius. From Being John to Adaptation and now this, I've decided the guy is not only screwed up in the head, but he is also a genius, period. He's just such a great writer. I've loved his work before Eternal, but this script is hands down the best that I have ever read, and it is presented on the big screen perfectly.

This film isn't like his other films however, it's much deeper. Eternal is not a gimmick film, it is NOT a comedy. It's a true love story, with a Kaufman feel to it. I could go on and on talking about how perfect this film is in my eyes.

The overall film itself isn't the only thing that's so great, as it's so much more than the story. The performances of everyone involved go above and beyond. Jim Carey proves once again to me that he is much more than the physical comedic actor that so many have certified him as without even taking the time to realize that he is capable of so much more than just moving around in an insane way. To me, he's just a darn fine actor. If this film doesn't prove that, then nothing will. He brings forth so many different emotions, in such a sincere way. From fright to antisocial to depression and ultimately to being totally in love.

Jim Carey's chemistry with Kate Winslet, his love interest in the film, is just unreal as well. They interact with one another with just such great feel. Carey (Joel) being the antisocial type of guy when he first meets Winslet (Clementine), who is everything but antisocial, the type of woman who is totally forward and is just totally open and free, from the very start they work great together. Even though both have a totally different personality, it works together, and eventually the personalities meet in the middle, forming one hell of a bond between the two characters.

The performances of the other main stars, Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson, and Elijah Wood, also do a great job. Everything just clicks for everyone involved, it's just a great experience on film when you have something like that happen between all of the actors involved.

But back to the character of Clementine. I can't remember the last time that I saw a character in a film with such an energy that Clementine shows off. I'd go so far to say that the character is my favorite character ever. I don't know what to say about this other than just that. I could watch that character all day interact with Joel, or anything else.

The look of the film, the special effects, the dialogue, the theme, all of the actors, it all fits together perfectly. I know it's cliche, but it's like a big puzzle where all of the pieces fit together in just the right way.

And with Eternal, the film itself really is a huge puzzle.

That isn't an exaggeration at all. The film doesn't even click in your mind until about twenty minutes in, but it's in a good way. You just have to see it to understand what I mean.

So yeah, I do believe that I have a new "favorite film of all time". I could watch this one over and over again, and I know that when I do I'll notice something different each time through.

Go check this one out, do NOT allow this film to go unnoticed. I know that it will more than likely not do that great at the box office, as I understand that this isn't the type of thing that the masses would really "get". Either way, have it do good or bad at the box office, WE NEED MORE FILMS LIKE THIS IN HOLLYWOOD RIGHT NOW. I can't say that enough. In a town working on so many remakes and sequels, it's refreshing to see something as original as Eternal Sunshine come out from the ashes.

I'll be seeing this one again in the next week, and I already can't wait.
Old 03-20-04, 01:26 AM
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The only thing that bothers me about this film is that I was writing a script that was kind of like it. It didn't have the memories being erased angle, but it was chronicling a relationship completely out of sequence, starting with the couple getting their divorce papers signed, and cutting back and forth in time, and finally ending with them meeting for the first time. And then I see this movie and I see Kaufman essentially do what I was doing, except so much better. So now that script is going to have to be scrapped for about 20 years or so.
Old 03-20-04, 01:55 AM
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It was thoroughly enjoyable. A little confusing at times, but all of the performances were really good.

Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet did one hell of a job.

I agree with some posts above that Gondry's camera tricks did take away from the emotional core of the film, I enjoyed the relationship between Carrey/Winslet at the start of the movie much better than at the end.

It is very funny in parts and perfectly cast.

Be warned: This ain't your normal popcorn movie and the general public is not going to like it, that's almost a given.

It probably needs to be seen more than once to fully digest the entire thing.

It'll make you forget all about Gondry's first film "Human Nature", which was amusing and somewhat funny, but a complete disaster.
Old 03-20-04, 01:58 AM
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Originally posted by Frank TJ Mackey
I agree with some posts above that Gondry's camera tricks did take away from the emotional core of the film, I enjoyed the relationship between Carrey/Winslet at the start of the movie much better than at the end.

It'll make you forget all about Gondry's first film "Human Nature", which was amusing and somewhat funny, but a complete disaster.
Disagreed on all counts. I thought the camera tricks were perfect for showing the surreal nature of his memories being erased and him being aware of it, and the emotional core of each memory.

As for Human Nature, I think it's about as far from "complete disaster" as you can get. While it's not Kaufman's best script (which would still be Adaptation), it's very funny, and I thought the whole thing was well done. I proudly own it and have watched it several times.
Old 03-20-04, 04:02 AM
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some really good movies have come out in the last couple years...and this one is up there with the best of em!

loved it...they are meant to be together no matter what! awesome flick.
Old 03-20-04, 06:18 AM
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I dunno if they were "meant to be together".. for the most part Joel realizes that regardless of all the bad that it will end in, it's still worth the ride to enjoy.
Old 03-20-04, 11:36 AM
  #82  
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*Possible Spoilers*

After seeing this film I was reminded of an anecdote (don't remember if its from a movie) where someone asks "If you could live your life all over again, what would you change?" and the answer is "I wouldn't change a thing - mistakes and all." I think the character of this film lived by this.

Like most, I was very disappointed with Human Nature (I won't get into it too much here but I didn't like how the story was structred.) Kaufmann seems to like to write the story where the ending is contradictory to the views presented before - I thought this was just the cynic in him. But with Eternal Sunshine he does it again, except this is a happy ending. (Or is it?)

Spoiler:
I really thought the film was going to end after they play the tape in the car which would have been cynical. But instead it ends on a 'romantic' note - contradicting all the anti-Valentine's Day stuff.


I loved the visual style, just begging for repeat viewings - thing being erased slowly before you get a chance to notice them. A really good representation of actual memory really. Also the editing - there's so many visual/audio bridges that make me wonder how much of it was scripted that way. I need to find a copy of the screenplay.

I think this is Carrey's best acting job yet and the rest of the cast were pretty good also. Loved the small David Cross part - didn't he say something about 'Mama Carrey' - some reference I'm missing or just Cross breaking character?

I don't think I liked the film as much as Adaptation but time will tell.

8/10

Last edited by MrN; 03-21-04 at 11:36 AM.
Old 03-20-04, 11:45 AM
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I think it is a pretty safe bet that if the tape had never been played, joel and clementine would have started the relationship over again. Just as Mary was persuing the Dr. I completely agree with the notion of them destined to be together, but within the context of the movie this can be argued, beause as we learn Lacuna's methods are not 100% accurate in memory removal.

So whether they were meant to be together, or just enjoying the ride, is up for interpretation, either view does not effect the appreciation for the film in the slightest.

One of the greatest movies ever. I have loved Mark Ruffalo since You Can Count on Me, and I'm happy he has gotten some work that lets him act.
Old 03-20-04, 01:25 PM
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I don't know if it's so much meant to be together as just repeating a cycle of behavior, as someone pointed out, like Mary and the doctor. Although, really, if I were the doctor, I wouldn't have kept her around after the fact. That was a silly thing to do.
Old 03-20-04, 05:21 PM
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Shame so many people will reject this brilliant movie. I think that had one of the side effects of the procedure been an overactive gastrointestinal disorder and they gave it a
pg-13, it would make about ten times what it will.

Kate Winslet is such a great actress, and I really admire her for more or less distancing herself from the Titanic character as much as she can with her roles since.
Old 03-20-04, 06:19 PM
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My spoiler-free-ish review (assuming you've seen the Lacuna ad for the film):

[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-.
Old 03-20-04, 06:25 PM
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After the movie ended, my friend and I debated whether we would want this procedure, if it existed. She said she would, I said no way. Odd how, even after seeing the movie, which was very much against the procedure, she still wanted it.
Old 03-20-04, 11:19 PM
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I loved it! I came in really anticipating this film and it did not let me down at all. The performances were terrific Carrey and Winslet in particular were funny, moving and smartly executed. I loved Kaufman's script, it was fresh and just a lot of fun to figure out what is going on and the film was surprisingly sweet IMHO. The film showed of what a great time one can have at the movies and I hope people will see this. Eternal Sunshine is just brilliant and I plan to see this again in the theater. ****/****
Old 03-20-04, 11:32 PM
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MrN, your spoiler tags are messed up. The first one shouldn't have an "s" at the end of it!
Old 03-20-04, 11:48 PM
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Three pages into this thread, spoilers should be tossed out the window by now.

if not I would look into a process to erase the memory of reading the spoiler.
Old 03-21-04, 12:05 AM
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I actually have a question about something that happened in the film.
Spoiler:
At the point when Kate Winslet is walking down the street and Jim Carrey is following her in his car, another car falls from the sky behind Winslet. Why? Does this have any significance?


Thanks,

Dan
Old 03-21-04, 12:27 AM
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I assume it's just his minds world crashing down and getting deleted? Since the street kept on getting changed around, I assumed the car was just another form of his memory getting deleted.
Old 03-21-04, 12:30 AM
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Right on.

I'd also like to say one more thing.

I wish women like Clementine really existed...I really do.
Old 03-21-04, 01:30 AM
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I saw this movie tonight after DotD and all say is wow. This movie really messes with your head. its been like 7 hours since i seen it and i cant stop thinking about it. Jim carrey did a great job and so did Kate Winslet. In my opinion this movie kicked the hell out of Lost in translation or any other artsy type movie. Go see this your in for a trip of a life time.
Old 03-21-04, 01:41 AM
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Is this a good movie to take a first date to? (We're already friends.) Or is it too serious or early in a relationship to watch?
Old 03-21-04, 03:08 AM
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Originally posted by UKingdom
Is this a good movie to take a first date to? (We're already friends.) Or is it too serious or early in a relationship to watch?
I'd take a first date to it, certainly.
Old 03-21-04, 07:09 AM
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Originally posted by Suprmallet
The only thing that bothers me about this film is that I was writing a script that was kind of like it. It didn't have the memories being erased angle, but it was chronicling a relationship completely out of sequence, starting with the couple getting their divorce papers signed, and cutting back and forth in time, and finally ending with them meeting for the first time. And then I see this movie and I see Kaufman essentially do what I was doing, except so much better. So now that script is going to have to be scrapped for about 20 years or so.
Dude, I hate to tell you this, but this script was written a *long* time ago. Harold Pinter's "Betrayal" is a play about an affair that starts at the end, and the last scene is their getting together. Although it doesn't move "back and forth" like your screenplay, it does go out of sequence with the end of the affair the first event in the play and their getting together the last scene in the play.

Hence, if you don't think about it, it seems really sweet, because it *ends* with them together, in terms of the sequence we see the scenes, but it is really sad, because they don't end up together if you *do* think about it.

For this reason, that episode of Seinfeld and "Memento," when I heard about how they played with the sequence of events, I just thought, "Already been done." But whatever.

Here's a link to a review of a relatively recent production.
Old 03-21-04, 08:52 AM
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Excellent flick.

****/****

-NiCK
Old 03-21-04, 09:49 AM
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Originally posted by Laertes

For this reason, that episode of Seinfeld and "Memento," when I heard about how they played with the sequence of events, I just thought, "Already been done." But whatever.
yep, no one bother seeing this, it's "already been done"
Old 03-21-04, 10:22 AM
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This movie basically kept me from committing a killing spree last night. Carolina loses, Syracuse and dook win, and all I can think about is this movie. Thank you, Eternal Sunshine . . .

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