Jim Carrey wakes up on Valentine’s Day in a funk. On the spur of the moment, he takes offto Montauk, where he meets Kate Winslet. Sparks fly, and a relationship seems about to be born.We suddenly flash back in time, and realize that, though they no longer remember it, these twohave previously had a relationship. When it collapsed, Winslet availed herself of the services ofLacuna, a company that erases unpleasant memories. Carrey has been removed from hermemory. Dist…aught, Carrey undergoes the same procedure, but during the process he rebels.Much of the film takes place in his mind, as he desperately tries to save the memory ofWinslet.
This is another tale from the inimitable pen of Charlie Kaufman, who brought us
BeingJohn Malkovich, Adaptation and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Thenarrative is very non-linear, yet is never confusing. The tale is witty, suspenseful, and romantic,and nails the pain of failed romance in painfully true, completely unmaudlin fashion. As forCarrey, this is easily his finest performance. Finally, he is actually acting, disappearing into hischaracter and shedding his Jim-Carreyness. Withal, this is a reminder that Hollywood is stillcapable of releasing intelligent, startlingly original work.
The sound is here in both 5.1 and DTS forms, but the difference between the two is, for allpractical purposes, undetectable. Though the movie has its raucous scenes, it is in many way astudy in painful gaps and silences. When called, for, however, the sound effects are impressive,creating a pretty thorough environment. The dialogue is clear and undistorted.
The colours have the cold, steel tones of despair and hurt, and the transfer is faithful to thispalette. The contrasts are very strong, as are the blacks and flesh tones. There is no visible edgeenhancement (even in a scene where Carrey is silhouetted against a window), but there isoccasional slight grain. Generally very fine work, however.
The commentary by Kaufman and director Michel Gondry takes us well behind the scenesof the making of the film, and goes into why they approached the film’s subject in the way theydid, but also speaks to the Kaufman’s experience as a writer in Hollywood. A fifteen-minuteconversation between Carry and Gondry also includes plenty of behind-the-scenes footage. Thedeleted scenes montage features three segments. “A Look Inside Eternal Sunshine of theSpotless Mind is the usual promo fluff. The two other short extras are the Lacunacommercial, and the rather disturbing Polyphonic Spree video for “Light and Day.” There arealso trailers for Vanity Fair and The Motorcycle Diaries. The menu is basic.
Easily one of the smartest movies of 2004, and one that should be remembered come Oscartime, if there’s any justice.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- A Conversation with Jim Carrey and Michel Gondry
- “A Look Inside Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” Featurette
- Lacuna Commercial
- Polyphonic Spree Video for “Light and Day”