Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind (2004)
Universal Home Video
Cast: Jim Carrey, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood
Extras: Commentary Track, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, Music Video

Jim Carrey deserves an Oscar Nomination for this film. There! I’ve said it. Not only is Jim Carrey’s performance in "Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind" absolutely magnificent, but what’s even more surprising is how believably well Carrey and co-star Kate Winslet pull this wacky tale of love, anger and humor together. Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and Director Michel Gondry bring to screen what this reviewer not only considers one of the best films of the year, but also one of the greatest love stories I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch.

Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo and Elijah Wood round out this all-star ensemble cast.

As the movie opens, Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) has this uncontrollable urge to ditch work and instead of taking the train to work, he decides to take it to Montauk. While there he happens to meet Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet). Even though it seems that these people have never met before, there’s somehow a connection between them and they immediately click.

Time passes and Joel finds out that Clementine has had a procedure that has erased everything from her memory that involved him and their relationship. Angered by this Joel decides to have the same thing done to his memories. Unfortunately as his memories are wiped one by one from his mind, he soon realizes that everything that was pure and loving about Clementine and their time together is going to be gone as well. There begins a fleeting journey of one man desperately trying to keep hold to everything he held dear in the time he had with Clementine.

I cannot express how much I love this film. Within the first 10 minutes of the film, Clementine immediately reminded me of a girl I dated for 2 years back when I was in college. The relationship that evolves between Joel and Clementine really brought back memories of my own when I was with her. The similarities between the relationship in "Eternal" and my own were frightfully close. That is one of the main reasons why I will never forget this film.

The film is a mazelike montage of different periods of Joel’s relationship with Clementine. We begin when the relationship has grown stale and the love that was once there is now replaced by bitterness and anger. But as Joel’s memories are erased one by one, we begin to see how beautiful their relationship once was. To first time viewers the film can be quite a bit confusing at first, but stick with it and you’ll be hooked.

"Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind" is a very nice looking film. The thing that immediately jumps out is how natural the movie looks on screen. Colors are balanced well. Areas like Clementine’s "Tangerine" colored hair show off every strange of hair without any sort of bleeding. Flesh tones are dead on. When you look at shots that feature close up angles of Carrey’s or Winslet’s face show an outstanding amount of detail. I couldn’t see any sort of edge enhancement or haloing and black level is spot on. Michel Gondry uses a lot of different filming techniques to pull off the numerous visual effects in this film and the transfer pulls them off without a hitch. A very good transfer.

Thankfully audio wasn’t sacrificed in this transfer. Most of the movie consists of dialog and slight background music (brilliantly composed by Jon Brion). Saying that, dialog is crystal clear. I never once felt that dialog was hard to hear or boxed in. In fact in naturally flows into the room. Most of the soundtrack is predominately front stage, but there are moments when we’re inside Joel’s mind and dialog/effects are very effectively placed in the surrounds. Sadly, certain compositions and music that appeared in the Trailer and CD soundtrack are missing from the film. ELO’s "Mr. Blue Sky" is unfortunately on of those examples.

Even though it was critically one of the best films of the year, "Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind" didn’t pull as much money as was hoped at the box office. Being the case, bonus features are limited and the menus are not even animated. We get "A Look Inside Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," a behind-the-scenes look at the film from the mind of the filmmakers. It’s nothing to in depth. Next is "A Conversation with Jim Carrey and Director Michel Gondry," which has them discussing and reflecting on their favorite moments of the film. An <$commentary,Audio Commentary> with Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman is included but unfortunately I haven’t had time to listen to it. I will be making it a priority next week to do so.

There are some deleted scenes included. Some of the scenes I’m really glad they dropped because they would of really changed my opinion of Joel. This is one film where I feel nothing needed to be added or was missing. The focused to much on the character Naomi, which was Joel’s past girlfriend whose only very briefly mentioned in the theatrical cut. "Light & Day" is a music video from Polyphonic Spree, which is pretty funny to watch. They used footage from the film and superimposed the singer’s lips over Jim Carrey’s, ala Conan O’Brien. And last is a fictional television advertisement for the memory clinic "Lacuna."

Sadly the one bonus feature I really hoped would be included was the great Theatrical Trailer. I bought the soundtrack for this film after just watching the trailer when it showed earlier this year. It was great and I’m sure websites still have it up. It would have been nice to have it on this disc seeing that most DVD’s include their trailer.

"Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind" is my favorite Jim Carrey/Kate Winslet film to date. Nothing can describe how much I’ve longed for this film to become part of my DVD library since watching it twice in the theater earlier this year. Over the past few years Charlie Kaufman has become one of the best screenwriters in Hollywood, and it looks like he has no reason to slow down. With films like Being John Malkovich & Adaptation under is writing belt, he has become what I consider the most original writer currently working. Over 50 four-star reviews praised this film, and I’ll make it 51. In the words of Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper I give this film Two Big Thumbs Up!