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ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND


He’s timid and she’s ballsy, so naturally they fall in love. But many things—including their own bad behavior—conspire to sour the relationship. That’s when one of them opts for a screwball operation that will erase all rotten memories. Naturally, the other mismate follows suit.

CAST: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson, David Cross, Lauren Adler

DIRECTOR: Michel Gondry

SCREENWRITER: Charlie Kaufman

"Like the greatest science fiction writers, Kaufman is using a bizarre futuristic scenario to tell us something about the here and now: about the loss of our most vivid loves to the impermanence of memory; and about the life we lose when, to go on living, we force ourselves to forget…he comes up with a beautiful and searching last scene—irrational in its hopefulness yet completely convincing…This is the best movie I've seen in a decade." --David Edelstein, Slate

 

 

 


"‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ may be the first movie I've seen that bends your brain and breaks your heart at the same time. The screenplay, by Charlie Kaufman, keeps whirling the audience into new and unexpected dimensions, yet you never question where you are, because there's an uncanny, seductive logic to every twist…He has become the most exciting screenwriter in America by doing something that most writers only dream of: He gets the audience addicted to the freedom and craziness of his mind…‘Eternal Sunshine’ has a lilting psychological fancy, yet it works because it's also rough and real and intimate and alive…Watching ‘Eternal Sunshine,’ you don't just watch a love story -- you fall in love with what love really is." --Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

"Kaufman, as he showed with ‘Being John Malkovich’ and ‘Adaptation,’ is not so much a conjurer with a trick up his sleeve as a guy madly sewing extra sleeves onto his jacket, and this mischievous new movie cannot restrain itself from pouring forth conceits…as in ‘Adaptation,’ this Kaufman script grows so manic in pursuit of its own tail that it continues to lash when it should be wrapping itself up in a neat knot…‘Eternal Sunshine’ could have used a lengthy sex scene… when one looks back on ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,’ one realizes how little of the movie has been devoted to the business of loving, let alone of making love. We get a double helping of first dates, and a bunch of barking arguments, but this is a romance assailed by time, and the promise of uncluttered bliss that is proffered by the title is held witheringly at bay." --Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

"‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is an elaborate construction around a very small idea -- that people tend to make exactly the same mistakes in love, over and over again. As such, it's like a rocket ship traveling at the speed of light only to arrive, at the end of two hours, halfway down the block…The thinking is shallow. The emotions are tepid. But the creativity is dazzling…The film's missing element is emotion …‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is not about how love conquers all but about how people can be weak and foolish and waste their lives on stupid, destructive relationships. It's a cold movie about love that was meant to be cold. In fact, the cold feels good for a change." --Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

"Don't expect anything standard-issue from this uniquely funny, unpredictably tender and unapologetically twisted romance. Jim Carrey, dropping the goofy faces, has never done anything this deeply felt…brilliant screenwriter Charlie Kaufman plumbs new emotional depths. And visionary director Michel Gondry reveals a bracing maturity in his commitment to character…with our multiplexes stuffed with toxic Hollywood formula, it's a gift to find a ballsy movie that thinks it can do anything, and damn near does…Kaufman, Gondry and the pitch-perfect actors have crafted a remarkable film that can coax a smile about making the same mistakes in love and then sneak up and quietly break your heart." --Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"There is little charm in the coupling and almost no erotic intimacy, just a series of nerve-racking conversational collisions...Much of my disappointment is directed at the creatively quirky screenwriter Charlie Kaufman...Mr. Carrey and Ms. Winslet have done the best they could with what they were given in terms of nonexistent character development. Ms. Dunst, Mr. Ruffalo and Mr. Wood deserve even higher marks for filling in the margins of their roles with energy and vivacity." --Andrew Sarris, The New York Observer

"… a manic piece of Kafkaesque vaudeville about love, loss and the modern world’s attempt to scrub away anything, however human, that might make us unhappy. Many viewers, including me, have complained that Kaufman’s work often disappears up its own navel, that it’s too damn clever and solipsistic for its own good…but for all its exhausting twists, the movie wants to grapple with ordinary feelings of yearning and loss. Sliding up its own navel but eventually finding its way out again, it’s a movie about its hero — dare I say it? — growing up." --John Powers, LA Weekly

"Going to the movies would be an eternally wondrous experience if more movies were as smart, ambitious, offbeat and emotionally rich as ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.’ …It is by turns comic, dark and surprisingly tender…Jim Carrey is a revelation in his toned-down and evocative performance… this is his finest effort to date…‘Eternal Sunshine’ is a poignant story set in a clever plot amidst exceptional performances. Things don't get much sunnier than that." --Claudia Puig, USA Today

"The film was directed by Michel Gondry, who also directed Kaufman's least-successful script, ‘Human Nature,’ and he clearly doesn't have a great gift for bringing this kind of bizarro material to life…large chunks of the film just don't work at all, including a subplot involving Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood and Mark Ruffalo and several excruciatingly unfunny scenes in which Carrey surrealistically plays the baby and toddler versions of his character. But, in its own strange way, the film delivers as a romance and as a relationship drama. Carrey and Winslet have a distinct chemistry." --William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"For most of ‘Eternal Sunshine,’ I found myself fighting off Gondry’s hyperactive intrusions in order to get at the melancholia at its core. Fortunately, the idea behind this movie is so richly suggestive that it carries you past Gondry’s image clutter… Carrey tones down his usual herky-jerky persona much more successfully here than in ‘The Truman Show’…Kate Winslet overdoes Clementine’s kookiness in the beginning, but then we begin to see how it functions as her armor. She’s a fragile kook." --Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

"This angular and intelligent romantic comedy isn't entirely consistent. Even as you laugh, it's a movie you admire more than love. Mr. Gondry, displaying an impressively quicksilver, scrambling technique, doesn't exactly seem to be listening to his actors…Ms. Winslet precisely limns the neurotic assertiveness that makes someone like Clem seem less attractive every time she opens her mouth, yet she also projects the charm of someone who needs to be heard… ‘Sunshine’ is filled with a group of outsize selfish folks whose minor-league brattiness makes the second half of the film funny and ugly." --Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

"‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is a title that evaporates from your consciousness almost before it's apprehended—and that's partially the point of this deft, witty, and vastly enjoyable movie…It's a head trip… a baroque and intermittently brilliant brain twister so convoluted that it inevitably deposits the viewer in an alternate universe… In addition to Kaufman's script, Gondry has the benefit of a terrific, superbly uningratiating comic ensemble." --J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

"The movie is a radical example of Maze Cinema, that style in which the story coils back upon itself, redefining everything and then throwing it up in the air and redefining it again…Despite jumping through the deliberately disorienting hoops of its story, ‘Eternal Sunshine’ has an emotional center, and that's what makes it work…The insight of ‘Eternal Sunshine’ is that, at the end of the day, our memories are all we really have, and when they're gone, we're gone." --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"A masterpiece? Probably. Ingenious? Absolutely! Unforgettable? I'll see you at the 10th-year anniversary…‘Eternal Sunshine’ is a love story that's all of a piece, brilliantly constructed and faultless in its conclusion. And it is so grounded in the pain of romantic longing that it feels as authentic as a broken heart." --Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

"‘Audacious, thought-provoking and ruefully funny, ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is genius screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's stunning rebuke to the brain-dead Hollywood romantic comedies we usually get this time of the year…Carrey effectively plays against type…Winslet is so effective that she's scary as the flaky Clementine, and the ensemble couldn't be better -- especially a creepy, very un-Frodo-like Wood." --Lou Lumenick, The New York Post