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.