UK Release date: 30th April 2004
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 31st January 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is a film I saw several years ago and immediately fell in love with. I thought it would be interesting to give it another viewing just to see how well it’s stood up in the intervening years. Well I’m pleased to report, it does pretty well; if anything, I like it slightly more after this most recent viewing. I will tell you more after this brief summary.
We begin with a couple meeting on a train for the first time. They are Joel Barish and Clementine Kruczynski. Everything seems to be going very well and then the mood suddenly changes. Joel is in his car banging his head against the steering wheel; very upset, almost inconsolable. He eventually finds out that Clementine has undergone a procedure to erase him from her memory. Unable to live with that, he decides to do the same. It is through this process that we see their entire relationship from the end to the beginning. Will it be successful, or is Joel doomed to live with his grief? Well obviously I can’t tell you that or the Spoiler Police will be erasing my memory (some say they already have!).
Beautifully made with some outstanding (& very subtle) CGI; I really love the way small things are erased as a scene progresses, or they go out of focus so you get the impression of memories being lost. The performances are all excellent too; especially Jim Carrey as Joel Barish (I really wish he would take more parts like this, he’s very good at it) and Kate Winslet who played Clementine Kruczynski perfectly; in fact she got an Oscar for it! Honourable mentions go to; Elijah Wood as Patrick, Mark Ruffalo as Stan, Kirsten Dunst as Mary and Tom Wilkinson as Dr. Mierzwiak.
There are several sub-plots that I have not included in the main summary that serve to show the imperfections in the process Joel and Clementine have undergone. This takes the film to a higher lever for me, it illustrates that no matter what, there may be a person you are supposed to be with. I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but it’s a concept that (I know) many cling to. But back to the film… It’s really well made with some excellent performances; very well written (another Oscar for that), one that’s quirky and quite bizarre in places, but also quite unique and one I have no problem in deeming ‘Highly Recommended’.
My score: 9.1/10
IMDb Score: 8.5/10 (based on 297,486 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 93/100 (based on 218 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 93/100 (based on 503,889 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Joel: [narration as Clementine acknowledges him by raising her coffee mug] Why do I fall in love with every woman I see who shows me the least bit of attention?
Joel: Excuse me?
Clementine: I just said hi.
Joel: Oh! Hi, hello.
Clementine: I'm Clementine... No jokes about my name.
Joel: I don't know any jokes about your name.
Clementine: Huckleberry Hound.
Joel: I don't know what that is.
Clementine: Huckleberry Hound!
Clementine: Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine.
Joel: I don't know what that means.
Clementine: Are you NUTS?
Joel: It's been suggested.
[Mary reads to Dr. Mierzwiak out of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations"; the lines are from Alexander Pope's poem "Eloisa to Abelard"]
Mary: How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! / The world forgetting, by the world forgot / Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! / Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd.
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.universalstudiosentertainment.com/eternal-sunshine-of-the-spotless-mind/