Review Podcast Rating Legacy Revision Candidate

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Part of me wants to be contrarian and rain on all the love this movie gets. Certainly, it has flaws: Charlie Kaufman’s cynical view on women and long-term romance is a bit of a damper, and I think Carrey’s against-type performance gets a bit too much love (especially opposite a fantastic, transformed turn by Kate Winslet).

But the movie really is that good. I usually don’t enjoying rewatching movies with any sort of puzzle box structure, but this film gets deeper and deeper the closer you pay attention to it. There’s a strong emotional throughline and character development payoff to the structure (like Groundhog Day; unlike Memento).

The filmmaking in the “memoryscape” is an audacious marrying of form and content. The blending of Joel’s real-time perception of losing the memory as we see the memory itself is genius. As the movie reaches its climax, every lost memory feels like an apocalyptic gut-punch.

The stuff with Lacuna’s staff is significantly less visionary, but deepens the moral complexity and darkness of the scenario.

It’s a rich, riveting film that I’m more fond of than ever.

Is It Good?

Masterpiece: Tour De Good (8/8)

Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.

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