70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous!
Jim Carey plays Joel, a man who wakes up, and skips work. You just have to some days. He catches a different train, and ends up far away from where he has to be. Here he meets Clementine (Kate Winslet), and they are drawn together.
It turns out they have a past, however. The films runs nearly in reverse, will the events of the past listing themselves in reverse order-...
Published on 12 Oct 2004 by Mr. Simon Paddon
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One Enjoyable Watch Is Plenty
Like many other people, I have heard so much about this film being very good so was glad to have caught it on TV recently. I like Kate Winslett and Jim Carrey is good in his more serious roles.
This film was a bit of an effort to get hooked to and understand what was happening but once I "got it" (after maybe 30 mins) I really enjoyed it. Yes, the couple were...
Published on 11 Feb 2009 by Mrs. Sharon L. Lawson
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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous!,
It turns out they have a past, however. The films runs nearly in reverse, will the events of the past listing themselves in reverse order- going back to when they first met. But in between both Joel and Clementine have their memories of each other erased, and the film tells of Joel's struggle to let go of what he discovers are precious memories.
This is a breath taking film. The first part is quirky and jumpy; however stick with it. It builds into a masterpiece of desperation as Joel realise's through living his memories again that there will come a time when she is gone from his life- again- and it hits him that he has to say goodbye.
The sub story is of the people who provide the memory treatment. Kirsten Dunst and Elijah Wood play what seem to be unimportant distractions in Carey and Winslet's tale, but as momentum builds, they become the key to their future.
I loved this film. Although it starts as something you have to think about, it build into an emotional masterpiece, one is which makes you realise how precious your memories are, and how much you take them for granted. You are left in a world which you simply don't want to leave.
One of the few films I would recommend buying.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful,
The plot, in a nutshell: Joel (Carey) discovers that his eccentric, impulsive, blue-haired ex-girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet) has had all memory of him erased by a company specialising in the procedure, and he decides to have it done too. There is a subplot involving Elijah Wood and Kirsten Dunst, but the focus of the film is certainly the messed-up tragicomic alternately perfect and disastrous relationship between Joel and Clementine. The majority of the film then takes place inside Joel's mind as he chases Clementine through his memories and watches them fade away.
The deepest parts of Joel's memory begin to collapse in chilling, sad and sometimes downright scary sequences, as books lose their writing, buildings tumble, places and people fade and disappear and faces lose their features. At the same time we catch a glimpse of the insecurities of both characters that originally brought them together. Corny romanticism is thrown aside: this film is uncompromising, realistic and honest, and the relationship between the characters is both glowing with light and life and shadowed by their differences. The delightful idiosyncrasies of the objects Joel names as having an association with Clementine (a giant stuffed skeleton doll, people made of potatoes, journals, mugs, pictures, cards, snowglobes...) reveal the crazy truth that exists between people.
There is some humour, but it's neither slapstick nor simple and always touched by sadness: there is the charming familiarity of childhood humiliation and of speaking the words through to a silent film, and the pathetic humour behind the old woman in the waiting room preparing to have her memory erased with tears in her eyes, clutching a box containing a bone and a dog-bowl with her pet's name on it. Not a shiny happy film, then, but a dark, fractured and yet somehow uplifting account of love.
50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eternally Sunny,
Probably because the audience expected a dull, common denominator 'comedy' which consisted of Jim Carrey pulling silly faces and prancing around for an hour and a half. Instead, they got a brilliantly conceived story of romance and a piece of cinematic magic.
From the opening section where Joel (Carrey) and Clemantine (Winslet) meet on a train, I was engrossed. This is undoubtedly Carrey's finest performance, as he plays the somewhat insecure Joel. Discovering that his somewhat crazy ex-girlfriend Clemantine has had all memories of their relationship erased through an experimental procedure, Joel decides to have the same procedure performed.
Not only is the core relationship one you can believe in and root for, it's tightly wound together. Elements that fail to make sense at the begin are made clear half-way through, as Carrey races through the maze of his memories of Clemantine, watched over by the dodgy medical crew overseeing the procedure.
The directing is wonderful with some surreal sequences in Joel's memories, the acting is excellent throughout and it has that ethereal something that separates a good film from a truly great one.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful,
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those in love, out of love, on the verge of break up or just broken up and philosophers,
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is an incredible film and one of the greatest modern romantic comedies of our time. It is smart, clever, and charming with an exceptional cast and an intelligent crew. This movie received many excellent reviews and anyone that I've known that has seen it agrees. A movie like that is superb. This movie is unique and makes the audience think and comprehend of what is happening. Carrey delivers a superb performance that made him avoid the "Oscar". His humor mixed with sadness and all the complexity of the character made me understand that he is a great actor (before, Truman Show made the audience give a serious look at this actor) and performer. Kate Winslet, again, delivers a full featured character, a "girl" from town, this "Shakespeare" actress can do it all and likely see the wild and funny side of her, what you would think would be vice versa. The supporting cast consisting of Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, and Tom Wilkinson is does a great job. Charlie Kaufman, as always, writes a phenomenal script with such creativity and intellect. Speaking of intellect, director Michel Gondry uses his own intellect to make this film a spectacle. The shots are captivating and exciting.
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is a romantic motion picture unlike any other. It is definitely not one of those typical romantic comedies when they both love each other without realizing it. This film captures beauty and the true quality of a great film. This film is one of the better films out there and anyone else who has will agree.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I DON'T WANT THIS ANYMORE!!!",
Jim Carrey plays "Joel;" a quiet and shy person who keeps to himself most of the time. He's bummed out when he discovers that his girlfriend had a new procedure done in where she has erased him from her memory. Not knowing what else to do, Joel decides that he must get the same thing done to him and goes to the clinic to have her erased from his memory, hoping that the pain and sadness will go away. When he's undergoing the procedure, unconscious and reliving the memories as they are being erased, Joel begins to realize that there were some very happy moments he had with her and he doesn't want to lose them after all.
It's really hard to categorize a movie like this. While it is indeed a comedy on some levels, it has a lot of dramatic elements to it, as well. Because of this, people will either fall in love with it or despise every minute of it. What really struck home with me is how honest and creative it really is. You'll find a lot more honesty and truth in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" than in most of the "cute" comedies that are out there today. It is extremely easy to relate to the characters, and that is what makes it all the more realistic for us. Jim Carrey is absolutely fantastic in this, as he is very controlled and doesn't try to steal the show. This is when you really get to see his acting skills shine. Kate Winslet takes the challenge of playing opposite of Carrey head-on and succeeds every single time. We cannot forget about Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst and Tom Wilkinson, who also make the movie that much more entertaining.
What I really admire about the movie is the theme of it, and that is that just because a relationship doesn't work out in the end, it doesn't mean that it was time wasted. Sure, there are certain memories we wish would go away somehow, but how would that change us as a person if we could do such a thing? We learn from our experiences; from the good and the bad. That's how we mature as human-beings, and Kaufman's clever writing really establishes that perfectly. The DVD has some cool extras, such as behind-the-scenes documentaries, audio commentary from the writer and the director, deleted scenes and more.
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" remains the best film to come out of 2004 for me. It's strange, yet clever; funny yet sad, and imaginative, yet honest. If you're looking for a risk-taking film that is like a breath of fresh air, then I highly recommend this excellent picture. This can possibly be the best movie of Jim Carrey's career. Take a chance and find out why so many people are raving about it in the first place. -Michael Crane
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Marmite Romance,
To begin with the movie is quite hard to get into, there were multiple times when I was considering switching it off. The key to this film is to slog out the confusing start and wait as the movie unravels it's twists very slowly.
I must point out that Carrey and Winslet do a superb job of acting out their roles in this film. Extra credit for Carrey as I believe this is his first real shot at a serious role; he nails it perfectly.
I really enjoyed the film and I would recommend it to any who enjoys romance films (not chick flicks). If you like Enduring Love by Ian McEwan (novel not movie) then I believe you would enjoy this film a lot. It is interesting, insightful, innovative and once you get into it you can't keep yourself away from the screen until you know how it ends.
So confusing and surreal at times that it's basically the matrix of romance films.
Romance fans buy now....
Jim Carrey comedy fans look away now.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eternal, spotless,
Uptight Joel (Jim Carrey) is shocked to learn that his likably flaky ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has taken unusual measures, post-breakup. She's having her memories of him erased from her brain at Lacuna Inc. When he learns WHY she broke up with him (she thought he was boring), he gets mad and decides to have the same thing done to himself.
So a group of offbeat techies and doctors (Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood and Kirsten Dunst) begin to erase the memories of Clementine from Joel's brain (Wood's character also tries to use Joel's memories to seduce Clementine). Problem is, his brain doesn't want to let them go. It pokes Clementine into parts of his memory where she doesn't belong, so he won't have to let go. And viewing the memories makes him fall in love all over again...
"Dark romantic comedy" is the closest thing that "Eternal Sunshine" has to a description. Like Kaufman's other films, it's funny in a subtle way, and more obviously sweet and romantic. Not to mention thought-provoking. If you could erase unpleasant memories, would you do it, if it changed the person you were? If we get rid of the pain, do we also get rid of the joy?
Michel Gondry is best known for his work on Bjork, Radiohead and White Stripes music videos -- deliciously strange ones. Somehow, he fits perfectly into directing "Eternal Sunshine." A trip through a person's brain is a hard thing to manage, but he does it -- surreal little images like a teeny tiny Winslet and Carrey bathing in a kitchen sink, or lying on the ice. It's weird, and it works. At the same time, he can capture more mundane moments well.
Jim Carrey gives what may be his best "serious" role ever, as the conflicted, lovelorn Joel. Kate Winslet's Clementine breaks the mold of "romantic comedy heroine" with her free-spirited wackiness. Together, they make a flawed couple that you really want to see together. And Elijah Wood takes what could have been an empty role and turns Patrick into a rather pitiful, lonely figure, rather than a 2-D creep.
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is not the best from Charlie Kaufman's fertile brain, but this melancholy dark comedy is well worth checking out. A wonderful, prismatic film.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, touching film that avoids sentimentality,
I started out reluctant to see it. For me, Kate Winslet has always had a kind of calculating look about her that I've never responded to except for Quills. And a little Jim Carrey, for me, goes a long way. I react to him the same way I do to Robin Williams. I like them both, but in smaller doses than I usually get. All that energy wears me out after a while, and when they try to be "serious," I think they often veer off into being mawkish.
With that out of they way, I still didn't respond much to Winslet, but I thought Carrey did a fine job...understated, lonely, lost. Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo, and Kirsten Dunst are always first rate in what they do, and they were first rate here.
The movie itself was clever by half, but with so much more heart than Charlie Kaufman usually shows. The whole thing of being so hurt by past expectations and hopes that you want out is a powerful plot device. And I think Carrey's performance hit the bulls eye. Swinging back and forth in time, going back and forth between memories and reality, had me quickly paying attention to what was going on. I really like a movie that poses puzzles, with issues that can be figured out only if you don't doze off...and where the writer and director play fair with the audience. Memento and Usual Suspects also come to mind as good examples of this.
I think Eternal Sunshine is Kaufman's best work, as well as Carrey's.
One other thing...
Carrey, I think, hits 50 before long. It will be interesting to see if he can finally break out of his typical image (Dumb and Dumber, The Mask, etc) and become accepted as a serious, disciplined actor. He's not there yet, but he's trying. Before long I expect to see Mick Jagger and Keith Richards shuffle on stage with walkers, with the sound of their creaking joints drowning out Richards' guitar. I hope Carrey can avoid this.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing short of exquisite in both story and execution,
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind isn't your typical Hollywood faire. It's a complex film that some will undoubtedly find confusing, and that's okay. For those who love a deep, multi-layered, challenging motion picture presented in an ingenious, somewhat risky manner, though, this film is something to shout about. This is a romance, a drama, a comedy, and a marginal science fiction (concept-wise, anyway) film all rolled into one exquisite ball that can leave you laughing one minute, crying the next, and tossing and turning all night trying to push the story out of your mind long enough for you to fall asleep.
To succeed, this film had to have great performances by all of the main characters - and it did. Jim Carrey was amazing; I'm not a big fan of his over-the-top comedic films, and I wasn't sure he could pull off a role such as that of the shy, quiet, introspective Joel Barish - he definitely surprised me here. Kate Winslet made the movie for me, though; she is simply enchanting as the quirky and delightfully spontaneous Clementine Kruczynksi. Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, and others turned it solid performances in the form of secondary characters, but this film is really all about Joel and Clementine.
The plot revolves around the unusual but definitely heart-warming romance of our two charmingly unique lovers and their subsequent decisions to have each other erased from their memories. Joel wakes up one day and finds Clem gone from his life; she truly doesn't even know him anymore. Naturally, this would devastate and confuse any man; when he finds out she had him erased from her memories, he naturally decides to do the same thing rather than live with the pain of losing her. As he begins reliving the memories as they are erased, though, he realizes that a lot of wonderful memories are being taken away from him. Helpless to stop the procedure, he fights as hard as he can to keep Clem in his heart and mind.
I've just described the movie, but I really haven't described it at all - not by a long shot. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is the kind of film that defies description. You really have to experience it for yourself - and I would encourage you to do so. This is truly one of the most memorable, exquisite, touching films to come along in a long, long time.
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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [HD DVD]  [US Import] by Michel Gondry (HD DVD - 2007)