Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Ten Movies That Defined My Decade.

7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
(Michel Gondry, 2004)

Out of all the movies I have ever seen, very few have captured "falling in-and out of-love" like "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind".
It's a movie that wears its heart on its sleeve, even if the rest of the outfit is completely loopy and strange.
Michel Gondry's interpretation of Charlie Kaufman's screenplay plays out like a stream of hippie consciousness with lo-fi settings and sci-fi straight out of a 50's B movie.
Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey (where is this man's Oscar?) give career best performances as doomed lovers Clementine and Joel who undergo a procedure to have each other erased from their memories.
The premise might sound like a Kaufmanian gimmick, but the truth is that the guy knows what he's doing.
His stories might not be easy to contain within a genre, but the emotions and humanity under all those layers of quirk and weirdness could rival neorrealism.
Watching this movie the first time I was confused most of the time, but I remember leaving the theater completely moved.
I had no idea why and I couldn't understand or relate to it. It wasn't until later when I too had an experience I wanted to erase from my memory forever that I understood what "Eternal Sunshine" had tapped so accurately into.
The pain, the bitterness, the joy, the fun...they all go hand in hand when you look back on a past love affair. The mind has a hard time with hierarchies.
When a movie plays out like a version of thoughts you've had, you know you won't want to forget about it.
This one did that for me.


Castor said...

I also have a special spot for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In my opinion, one of the most romantic movie ever made.

Luke said...

Totally agree with the "career best" compliment for Jim Carrey. And poor Kate Winslet... Best Actress in 2004 was such a jacked up year. With she and Imelda Staunton and Annette Bening's great performances to choose from, they STILL needed to give Swank a second? Anyway, LOVE Eternal Sunshine as well. Definitely the best of 2004 (which was a fairly fantastic year, in and of itself).