The hopeless romantic in me loved The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. As a love story, it truly emphasizes the power of love over seemingly insurmountable odds. As a movie fan (Iím not really a movie geekÖnot committed enough), I like a movie that challenges you and especially that challenges itís creators, actors and directors alike. This movie does just thatÖit challenges every one involved. As a sometimes ďstrugglingĒ wanna-be writer, I definitely appreciate good writing, and at the moment very few in Hollyweird do it better than Charlie Kaufman. The twisted genius that brought us ADAPTATION brings us this moving, bizarre love story.
Jim Carrey plays Joel, a very quiet, antisocial man who suddenly finds happiness with Clementine, an exuberant eccentric played by Kate Winslet. Now, like I said, this movie is a challenge, and while anybody who knows anything about this movie knows the basic plot premise, I shant get into it. I donít like to give anything away. Suffice it to say that this movie doesnít follow typical storytelling, um, sequence, and you must remain fully alert as to not suddenly find yourself going, ďhuh?Ē
But the good news is that itís so worth the challenge!
Director Michel Gondry, who co-wrote the story with screenwriter Kaufman and Pierre Bismuth, does a wonderful job of slipping from one scene to the next. Iím telling you, donít blink, or you may not be able to followÖ
The supporting cast featuring Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, and Kirsten Dunst, as well as the always excellent Tom Wilkinson (sorry, Iím a big fan of character actors!) does a great job, even though, truth be told, I only liked Wilkinsonís character. And damn if Dunst isnít out to prove with each and every role that she is all grown up.
And itís interesting to see Wood in anything other than the utranoble FRODO roleÖ
But this movie belongs equally to Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. These are amazing performances. Carrey for being so subdued and completely out of his wacky persona, and Winslet for just illuminating every scene sheís in and for showing very impressive range. It seems like itís been forever since I even mentioned Kate Winslet among my favorite leading ladies. I mean, she used to rule over my list with an authority I thought could never be usurped, but then Natalie Portman came into power, followed by the surprising Angelina Jolie (who is SO much better than any role sheís had in many years!), and more recently with MONICA BELLUCCI, because that kind of beauty, with the talent to back it up, just canít be ignored. But yeah, Ms Winslet has always been one of my favorites. Sheís never let me down in any role, but here, wow, sheís amazing. And come on, she has (among many other colors) blue hair!!! How hot is that?!?
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind might not be for every one. Itís weird, itís trippy, and like Iíve mentioned a hundred times already, itís a challenge. But if you wanna see great acting, hear great dialogue, and see for yourself just what love can do, you really should see it.