The only movie I was really looking forward to seeing in America this time around was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which was written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry. I've been a big fan of films written by Kaufman (Being John Malkovic, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Adaptation). I guess there's a sort of backlash against him and others who make nontraditional films (i.e. Memento, Mullholland Drive, etc...), which I don't quite understand. Sometimes I want a challenge or long to see something that I've never seen before, there's always room for a well-crafted traditionally made film (i.e. Mystic River) and those will always be made. So why not an ironic or inventive movie once in a while? To me, it's like choosing a genre film, i.e."Tonight I'm in the mood for a comedy."
Anyway, the strength of this movie doesn't lie in the cleverness of the script or the special effects, even though both are impressive. The heart of this movie lies in the emotional and dramatic content of a story about love gone bad, memory, and the bitter sweetness of life. Jim Carrey is impressive in a straight dramatic role, cast against character, which provides little opportunity to mug for the camera. His foil is the charming Kate Winslet, who has never been more appealing as the capricious and spontaneous love interest. The supporting actors are appropriate, but the main thrust of the film is the romantic struggle between Carey and Winslet. The cinematography and special effects are impressive, but they don't overtake the film. Basically, it is an exceptionally well-made film all-around, which I highly recommend. I am curious to revisit the first collaboration between Kaufman and Gondry, Human Nature, which was panned ruthlessly the first time around, which is why I gave it a miss. I'm willing to cut them some slack after seeing this wonderful film and give it a chance.