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The Brilliance of Eternal Sunshine

The only movie I’ve seen in theaters in the last coupla months that’s truly worth the price of admission (if not more) is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be finding much of an audience, even with Jim Carrey in the cast. The irony being, this is probably Carrey’s single best performance ever. Definitely his best dramatic performance.

What excites me about this movie, is that not only is it a good, smart, touching story with brilliant performances, but it’s also a real piece of *cinema*. It understands its medium and takes advantage of it. For an audience, any film’s first frame is the beginning — there is no “before” (even if there is a backstory of some sort). Eternal Sunshine intuitively gets this, and plays with it in a way that is quite ingenious, and unlike anything I’ve seen.

What surprised me was the emotional depth. Kaufman’s prior movies banked on irony and wryness. This one feels more mature, while retaining its cerebral mindfuck.

Go see it. In a theater.

  1. I thought it was one of the best movies I’d seen in a long time, both in form and content. The production was very well done, yet retained a pleasing simplicity (they could have gone nuts in the in-mind sequences but held back). And the story was fantastic – very honest, and as you said, mature.

    (I saw Kill Bill 2 the following night and couldn’t wait until it was over. I wish I could have erased it after, so I could have retained more Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as well.)

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