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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

A comedic romance film written by Charlie Kaufman, directed by Michel Gonfry, and starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.

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Fragile Life and Conquering Love.

  • Oct 18, 2006
The title of this film is taken from a poem written by Alexander Pope entitled "Eloisa to Abelard". Pope based his poem upon the lives of two real people who were involved in an illicit affair. The poem is written from Eloisa's point of view and illustrates the conflict the woman has between her deep love for Abelard and her devotion to God. The movie takes it's name from the lines, "How happy is the blameless Vestal's lot!/The world forgetting, by the world forgot./ Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!/Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd." in which Eloisa wonders what it would be like if she had never fallen in love with Abelard and had the affair erased from her life.

That idea, of being able to erase one's memories, is the plot structure in which ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND revolves. The film stars Jim Carrey as Joel Barish, a shy man who usually keeps to himself but who thought he had found the love of his life in a woman named Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet). Clementine is everything that Joel is not and the two individuals discover that not only do they complement each other, but that they complete each other as well. However, after a particular messy argument, Joel receives a notice that Clementine has had all memory of him erased from her mind. Joel tries to force the relationship afresh and fails. He realizes that he cannot live knowing that the love of his life has no memory of him and decides to have the procedure done himself. While undergoing the memory-erasure, Joel begins to remember all the good times he had and everything about Clementine that made him fall in love with her in the first place. He then tries to fight the erasing by hiding out with Clementine in other memories in his mind. Think of a bizarre and quirky IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

That might sound very confusing and that's not even taking into consideration that's not how the plot of the movie takes place because we see the story in reverse (kind of like MEMENTO) from the time Joel and Clementine had their last argument until they first met. Of course, the movie actually begins more towards the end rather than the beginning and ends at a new beginning. The film also has a small subplot about the Dr. in charge of the procedure (Tom Wilkinson) and one of his employees (Kristen Dunst). Despite the labyrinth structure, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND is one of the best romantic movies of the past decade. It's a very honest film, full of emotion and heart. It doesn't sugarcoat the hardships and sometimes seemingly dullness that a relationship can bring, but illustrates that the good times far outweigh all of that and that even if they didn't, those difficulties are important because they make us who we are and help us to become better people.

Besides the story and wonderful script (written by Charlie Kaufman), ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND is notable for a couple of other reasons. First, the movie is one of Jim Carrey's best performances ever. Carrey has given some Oscar-worthy performances before (THE TRUMAN SHOW, MAN ON THE MOON) but his performance as Joel is his best to date. If you had never seen Jim Carrey perform before, you would never know that he became famous because of his comedy--you would think he was a Shakespearean-trained actor. He should have been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar here, too, but wasn't.

Secondly, the film is a great example of how a movie with a lot of special effects can be made without using a lot of CGI. All of the bizarre scenes were created using good old fashioned tricks through manipulation of the camera, set, props, editing, or lighting.

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND is one of those films that people are either going to love or are going to hate. I enjoyed the film immensely. It stayed in my head for weeks. Both the story and filmmaking are inspiring. But that's just me. Maybe you'll hate it. If that's the case, you might want to visit Lacuna Inc.

The DVD includes an informative making-of featurette (explains how some of the best stuff in the movie wasn't really scripted), some deleted scenes, a conversation with Carrey and director Michael Gondry, a Lacuna infomercial, a music video, and a commentary.

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More Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... reviews
review by . September 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     We remember a lot of good things in life; that, as I believe, is given. We remember because we want to, and because these are the moments that ultimately save us in times of doubt or depression. I have embraced the times; no matter how hard they may be. I've enjoyed myself plenty and am content, but those not-so-good memories will linger forevermore. They cannot be avoided; they can be forgotten, easily through healing and otherwise with at least a little …
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Dispite the craze of hipster kids who love this movie. It is still one of the greatest written films ever. Jim Carrey is amazing.
review by . May 13, 2008
Movie Poster
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind explores the impact on life and love if we could decide to erase our physically and emotionally traumautic memories.  Specifically, the movie follows the relationship of Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) in the context of the availability and use of this memory erasing technology.    I don't want to spoil this brilliant movie, so I'm intentionally trying to stay light on the details.   I always use this movie …
review by . December 31, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
DVD cover (front)
From the brilliantly eccentric minds of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation) and visionary director Michel Gondry comes Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a romantic comedy that's unlike any other. The film's screenplay, which deals with familiar themes of reconciliation and redemption, is constantly surprising in the direction that it chooses to go. Kaufman and Gondry, who are themselves rather unconventional, avoid the clichés of both the comedy and romance genres.  The film's …
review by . July 03, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Eternal sunshine is a clever movie that explores the concept of memory being erased to remove unpleasant memories. The setting is a dreary, blighted area of Long Island NY and the beaches of Montauk, where the disrupted romance of the Jim Carrey & Kate Winslet characters begins. The story shifts back and forth in time as well as in and out of the mind of the Carrey character. The supporting cast includes Elijah Wood and Kirsten Dunst, with each supporting character playing an important role in the …
review by . June 27, 2004
Pros: Acting, directing, plot-line.     Cons: Some rough patches in the script.     The Bottom Line: A thinking person movie to be sure…     Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. You never know what to expect from comedian, turned comedic actor, turned dramatic actor, Jim Carry (Peggy Sue Got Married - 1986, The Mask – 1994, The Truman Show – 1998, Bruce Almighty – 2003), or where the very …
review by . October 24, 2004
posted in Screen Gems
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is one of those movies that's one can't say enough about, but it's also so very easy to say too much. What I say about likely won't capture what makes it so utterly charming and inescapably honest.    There's the standard stuff -- the performances, for example, are uniformly excellent. Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey deliver what may well be the finest performances in their careers for this film, and Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson, Elijah Wood, …
review by . April 15, 2004
Pros: Carrey, Wilkinson, Ruffalo, Dunst, Wood, funny, thought-provoking, visually dazzling     Cons: Winslet (at times), plot holes     The Bottom Line: This is the last time I'll forget you / I wish I could... This review is rambling, but so is the film.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. When my cousin was a baby, he tried to pick up a football that had been sitting in the sun all day and burned …
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The title is taken from the poem “Eloisa to Abelard” by Alexander Pope.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Theatrical release poster Directed by Michel Gondry Produced by Anthony Bregman
Steve Golin Written by Screenplay:
Charlie Kaufman
Michel Gondry
Pierre Bismuth
Charlie Kaufman Starring Jim Carrey
Kate Winslet
Kirsten Dunst
Mark Ruffalo
Elijah Wood
Tom Wilkinson
Jane Adams
David Cross
Thomas Jay Ryan Music by Jon Brion Cinematography Ellen Kuras Editing by Valdís Óskarsdóttir Distributed by Focus Features Release date(s) March 19, 2004 Running time 108 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $20 million Gross revenue $72.2 million

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American psychological-drama film by director Michel Gondry. The film uses elements of science fiction, nonlinear narration and neosurrealism to explore the nature of memory and romantic love.[1] It opened in North America on March 19, 2004 and grossed over US$70 million worldwide.[2]

Gondry worked on the story with writer/director Charlie Kaufman and Pierre Bismuth, a French performance artist. Together, they won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2005, alongside a nomination for Kate Winslet for Best Actress that year. The film stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet and features Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson, Elijah Wood, Jane Adams, and David Cross.

The title is taken from the poem Eloisa to Abelard by ...

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Director: Michel Gondry
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: March 19, 2004
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Charlie Kaufman
Runtime: 1hr 48min
Studio: Universal Studios, Focus Features
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