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on 10 October 2016
Mind in the title and some 'mind' required to watch since this film is beautifully chaotic from the start with the story line a mosaic of real, repeated and shredded memories. While revolving around the simple premise that people can fall in love for the most impractical reasons with the most inappropriate partners to get very mixed results in life, I love the scope this film gives to contemplate how imperfect, painful and simultaneously glorious our lives can be if we ride the rough with the smooth. Is a life free of angst better if the love is also gone? Or should we fight for those sweet moments of joy even knowing them bounded by sadness?

Eventually a messy and incoherent struggle to recapture the memory of love even knowing the pain that inevitably follows, this film in the end is about a triumph of hope for love over adversity.

This film is a love story repeated three times (lived and forgotten, replayed, retried) and woven in with sub-plots highlighting that life is simply too messy to be perfect. The characters are all imperfect and flawed in their own way and their lives much reduced when the memories of happy times are sacrificed as the price of purging the sad. Eventually the possibility that it could be third time lucky for Clem and Joel rounds out an open-ended but optimistic conclusion.

Find your own centre on this film - it's an odd one to nail down. If you enjoyed this film you might also like to try Vanilla Sky.
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on 19 June 2016
This is one of my favorite films ever. I don't usually like romance films, but this one is something else. The plot can be a little hard to follow at first, but it is absorbing throughout, and the complex story-line just makes it more interesting each subsequent time you watch it, as you pick up little details you didn't the first time!

Great performances from every member of the all-star cast. Especially good performance from Carrey, who is surprisingly serious through most of the film, but he does have some of his typical silly moments in parts, and this balance works really well - it makes the film both entertaining and emotional, and I find that this film gets that balance perfect. The soundtrack is beautiful as well.
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on 10 December 2017
Wonderfully presented film, I've looked at this film so many times and thought to myself it looks good, but never got around to watching it, well it finally happened and it certainly didn't disappoint! Creative imaginative and funny, fully worth the five stars and definitely worth watching.
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on 7 July 2016
At first I was confused by the plot but soon understood what was going on and was hooked. A fantastic portrayal of the fact that we tend to fall for the same "type" again and again. Is this why some people have more than one failed marriage behind them? Are those of us who stick at our first marriage regardless of the struggles better off? This and many other questions about relationships came to mind whilst watching this film.
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on 5 November 2007
Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's better-received Being John Malkovich was an amusing but cold oddity; director Michel Gondry's Science of Sleep was not particularly amusing and sickly cute. Sandwiched between was this loving, subtly cautionary romantic 'dramedy' about a young man, Joel (Jim Carrey), undergoing a fantastical scientific operation to remove all memory of his ex-girlfriend, the eccentric Clementine (Kate Winslet). The procedure draws him deep into his subconscious, and we're invited along for the ride. This second collaboration between Kaufman and Gondry (after 2001's Human Nature) has deservedly become something of a cult favourite.

Forget Garden State: while Eternal Sunshine shares a desire to explore the truth behind the human condition through a skewed fish-eye lens, it is mercifully free of that film's cloying sentimentality, its narcissism, and its contempt for a mainline predefined as banal. In Garden State, people are kooky but phoney, shallow and self-absorbed; Eternal Sunshine's Joel, meanwhile, is powerless against his absorption into the strange fearful passions of his dreams. With impressive psychological literacy, Kaufman and Gondry's film shows us the selfishness of human desire and are - crucially - critical of it. Hollywood loves nothing more than to make lovers of ill-suited characters thrown together by circumstance. Not so here: the joy of watching Joel and Clementine's relationship blossom - and fade - is that it is a product of choice as much as chance, and so it is believable.

Winslet puts in a signature performance; her Clementine is the extrovert to Carrey's Joel. Carrey, meanwhile, scribbles out his signature entirely: nary a mug passes across his face. His is a soulful turn of poise and intelligence.

Eternal Sunshine finds its home on DVD - by the third or fourth viewing you should have the fractured narrative pretty much sussed. Plus, it's ideal night-in viewing: warm, friendly, funny, and profound. In a cynical and ironic era, it's heartening to watch a film that finds love so alive and so precious. A classic.
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on 6 September 2014
Until I saw this I was torn between Titanic (have a thing for both Kate and Leo), Braveheart, Name of the Rose, Dances with Wolves (get the extended very long version) and Terminator 2 for favorite movie ever, but this one is my clear favorite now. Can watch it over and over again. The emphasis on how we're all screwed up in our own way and how coming to terms with it as a sort of salvation and pre-requisite for love and forgiveness is powerful. That it is also extremely innovative in it's cinematics and story-telling and has one of the best ensembles ever just brings home the bacon.
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on 28 April 2011
It's complicated.... no, that's another film!

Eternal Sunshine (Of The Spotless Mind) is not a film you watch to unwind to; which is what I did one evening and by the time the opening credits had passed by no more than ten minutes I was lost (it has an unusually long intro of some seventeen minutes). At the end of the film I thought, " What was that all about?".... but I'd missed the point. It is a very clever film that requires your full attention or you just don't get it.

I watched it again, this time more awake, and found it fascinating. Still with the odd moment of confusion but I thoroughly enjoyed it and will gladly watch it again. Kate Winslet is brilliant - wacky, brash and in your face but ultimately wonderful. Jim Carey is really very good as the more serious partner and he narrates the juxtaposed events; the other cast members admirably support the story also.

There's a great twist at the end, which finishes the film very well and, all in all (without trying to précis the scenario complexities) the film is very well worth watching. Complicated.... yes, clever.... definitely, enjoyable.... certainly (unless you're a bit too relaxed), worth watching.... without a doubt.

In the end it's almost flawless, if not eternally radiant, and I loved it!
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on 21 August 2016
Just didn't get it. Disliking Jim Carrey's numerous film roles doesn't help (although I do rate Kate Winslet's acting skills). So I tried but within 20 minutes I was bored. I made no connection although the acting was not at all bad. I will try again but I am not that hopeful that I will manage to get any further with a second showing.
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on 26 September 2016
So what is love? See this very strange but brilliant movie -- Charlie Kaufman screenplay -- that left me with my jaw dropped...Breathtaking performances by Jim Carry, Kate Winslet, Tim Wilkinson and others. Great cinematography.
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VINE VOICEon 17 May 2008
I kept thinking that Jim Carrey was Nate in Six Feet Under in this film. He looked just like him. This is a bold film, which had similarities to Sliding Doors, in its structure and impact. Kate Winslet, who married my school contemporary, Sam Mendes, is delightful. Kirsten Dunst is rather foxy, too.

It got a bit too complicated with all the flashbacks to childhood about two-thirds of the way through. The idea of erasing memories by getting rid of all the stuff you've got that reminds you of your painful experiences got me pondering.

I tend to be ruthless with possessions that outlive their purpose, and, having watched this film, maybe rather over-sensitive when it comes to dealing with past failures. This film gets you thinking about memories and what to do with them.

A good story with a super soundtrack.
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