Monday, December 21, 2009

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

So what is this one about?
How is it even possible that I haven't reviewed this movie yet?!?! I started this blog in summer 2008 (when I was in Oregon with D) and I have reviewed every movie I have seen that I haven't already reviewed. How is it possible I haven't watched this movie since then?! How?!?! I barely believe that it is. But, well, here we go!

Eternal Sunshine is my #1 movie of the 2000s decade--as I declared to the Bob and Abe show--AND according to wikipedia
"The film was lauded by critics as one of the best films of 2004, and in recent lists, has been acclaimed as one of the best films of the decade"
so I find it nearly impossible that someone reading this blog wont know the plot, BUT, I will let you know anyway.

The 'flix tells us
"After learning that his mercurial ex-girlfriend, Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet), has undergone an experimental medical process to purge all memories of him, mild-mannered Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) opts for the same procedure. But during the operation, he decides he doesn't want to lose what's left of their relationship and tries to conceal her image in his memory cells."

And how much did I pay to watch?
I didn't pay anything for this. I own it. And you should too, because it is excellent.

And what did I think?
Well, like I said, I think this is the number 1 movie of the 2000s decade. In fact, I think I will put up my best of list before the end of the year (though, this is neither here nor there). It is not even a contest. But why do I think that?

Well, Michel Gondry is an excellently, creative artist. His films are mesmerizing and a little spacey--sort of cartoonishly hilarious like my favorite episode of Flight of the Conchords Season 2, "Unnatural Love" which he directed--but entirely fun and fresh. I would also recommend The Science of Sleep. Without Gondry's artistic eye this movie would not have been as excellent.

However, without Charlie Kaufman's (whose photo on Wikipedia looks a lot like Gondry's) script, Gondry's direction wouldn't have had the forward motion it needed. That is why ESotSM was so much better than Be Kind, Rewind. Gondry and Kaufman are like the Thomas Jefferson and the George Washington of 2000s film. They are both excellent alone, but they are wildly successful with each other--George Washington was an amazing leader, but without Jefferson's Declaration of Independence as a backing document what would General Washington have been fighting for? Likewise, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, but without Washington putting the military support behind it, he would have been just another hot intellectual. Wasn't that sort of off topic? Yes.

Ok, so back to the point. What do I love about this? Everything! I know I am being continually vague, so I will try and be more specific.

I love the actors/acting. Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey, Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst (sad, sad, Kirsten Dunst), David Cross, Tom Wilkinson and even Mark Ruffalo. Everyone is just so sad. But it isn't sad like Before Sunset sad, but it is a more hopeful sadness. The point is one that I really like. Something like, the people you love you'll love no matter what. The memories of both Clementine and Joel were erased and they still found each other. Even Mary and the Doctor found each other again. There is something so optimistic yet still depressing about that. It is optimistic because it shows that maybe there are people you are really supposed to love and be with in your life. It is depressing because, in Mary's case, sometimes things don't work out but you can't help being in love with the same person. She was right though, erasing your memories is wrong.

Every person you meet in your life--or date, or don't date but want to--they all teach you something about who you are, what makes you happy, or what you are looking for. You can't erase them because they've all made you a little what you are. You eventually stop caring, or missing them, or you wish they just weren't around anymore, but you can't just erase them. (Unless you erase them from facebook or your cell phone book--which is very cathartic and awesome!)

Lastly, it is Gondry's artistic direction. The visuals are so whimsical and they help to break your heart. As the memories are erased and the visuals disappear you, as the audience, feel that vanishing feeling. You want so badly for the main characters to not disappear from each other because you know that they are so good together. And because of the non-linear story you can't really tell that they are going to end up together.

Are those good enough reasons for loving this movie? Answer: yes.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
The first time I saw this movie it was at the house of a boy who I really liked. He said it was one of his favorites, but I was too busy being excited about being near him that I didn't pay attention to the movie. It was a little too complex for 22 year old Julia to figure out when I wasn't even giving it my attention. I could tell it was good, but I couldn't tell how good. So I would have given it a 7 (but because Netflix has deleted the reviews I wrote I can't give you the official story).

So then I bought it and watched it again, and I felt like I had a grip on what was going on, but I couldn't be sure till I watched it again. And when I did it understood how fantastically amazing it is. So it very deservedly gets a 10. (As if there were any doubt)

Seriously, it is worth the effort. It is so pretty visually, with such a pretty/sad story. You'll like it. Go watch it.


sickboy said...

Can't believe you mentioned Facebook in a review of this film.

I love this movie sooo much. for all the reasons you mentioned. It just feels that no one else could have brought it to the screen as well as those involved.

It is so very sad and yet so moving and involving at the same time. And also funny. We must not forget funny. And everyone is so likeable. What a great movie, what a great idea. 10/10

Who knows, maybe Facebook is the real world equivelant.

Helen Abba said...

I love this movie lol.
Clementine inspired me to dye my hair purple =]
Jim Carrey is one of the best, can't wait to see I love you Philip Morris!