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. Distraught, …arrey 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.
Disc 1 has the commentary by Kaufman and director Michel Gondry, which takes us wellbehind the scenes of the making of the film, and goes into why they approached the film’ssubject in the way they did, but also speaks to Kaufman’s experience as a writer in Hollywood. Afifteen-minute conversation between Carry and Gondry also includes plenty of behind-the-scenesfootage. “A Look Inside Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is the usual promo fluff.The two other short extras are the Lacuna commercial, and the rather disturbing PolyphonicSpree video for “Light and Day.” The menu is basic.
Disc 2 has some new featurettes. “Inside the Mind of Michel Gondry” is a 20-minute behind-the-scenes piece, which has some promotional aspects, but is still pretty informative. Ditto for“Anatomy of a Scene: Saratoga Avenue” which is a detailed look at this sequence, and uses morefootage from interview shot for the other featurette. “A Conversation with Kate Winslet andMichel Gondry” gets a bit silly, but is certainly informal, and is more on the order of anecdotesfrom the shoot. The deleted scenes montage now has six scenes instead of three. Finally, there’s anice little photo book filled with blurbs, making the whole package look like its real target isOscar voters.
If you already bought the film, there isn’t enough extra material to justify getting this one.But if you’re an Oscar voter, take note.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- “Inside the Mind of Michel Gondry” Featurette
- A Conversation with Jim Carrey and Michel Gondry
- A Conversation with Kate Winslet and Michel Gondry
- Anatomy of a Scene: Saratoga Avenue
- Deleted Scenes
- Photo Book
- “A Look Inside Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” Featurette
- Polyphonic Spree Video
- Lacuna Infomercial