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.
- Review Project: 2009 Top 100
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.