173. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Release Date: March 19, 2004

Director: Michael Gondry

Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, Tom Wilkinson.

Tag Lines: ‘I already forget how I used to feel about you.”

“Our memories makes us who we are. You can’t change the past.”

“Would you erase me?”

“This spring, clear your mind.”

“I’m fine without you.”

“Do I know you?”

“You can erase someone from your mind. Getting them out of your heart is another story.”

“Replace my memory.”

Relevance: I have never been a person that had any regrets. I believe that no matter what happens to us as humans, it was simply meant to be. Don’t get me wrong, I have made many, many bad choices and decisions in my life. My mistakes are as bountiful as my successes. But even in those times where I lacked clarity, I couldn’t help but celebrate them. With each failure was gained some knowledge for who I was and who I could be. I learned from everything I endured. If I didn’t go through those uncertain times in my life, I wouldn’t be the person I was today. And I like that person. There was, however, one “almost” regret.

Anyone that reads this blog knows that I have a huge “girl crush” on Kate Winslet. She has popped up on my list of most influential movies numerous times already and will pop up again in the near future. She is beautiful on the inside and out, and is one of the most gifted actresses of her generation. The fact that she was in a movie with Jim Carrey, another actor I deeply respect, written by Charlie Kaufman, the genius that wrote ‘Being John Malkovich (see 295. Being John Malkovich), was like a dream come true. Then why the hell did I not see it in theaters?

I wish I had a great story as to why I did not see ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ in theaters. Unfortunately, I do not. I just didn’t. I finally did see the film in the Fall of 2004 when it was released as a rental, and I absolutely adored it. It was everything I knew and hoped it would be, and then some. I enjoyed it so much I ran out and bought the DVD so I could do what I do best, watch a movie over and over again. And that’s exactly what I did.

The movie enjoyed a decent box office run and received critical acclaim. It won an Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Screenplay and my “girlfriend” was nominated for Best Actress. I watched the movie a few times during the awards season and seemed to like it more and more each time that I did. It was unique, quirky, well produced and told a really beautiful story in a very comedic, dramatic and sci-fi way that only Mr. Kaufman could. Little did I know that the movie would resurface a few months later in the eyes of a tumultuous love affair.

I met someone in late 2005 and quickly fell head over heels in love, which is not a common occurrence for me. In fact, it has only happened twice in my life. The man was handsome, smart, charming and full of life. We shared the love for cinema as well as the love of one particular Pop Goddess, Madonna. He was also a fan of Ms. Winslet and one of our first conversations we ever had was about ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.’ We were a match made in heaven, which eventually turned to hell.

Our relationship only lasted a little over four years. As time progressed, I realized that I had fallen in love with a pathological lying, cheating con man. He turned out to be the person that I vowed never to fall in love with. But when you are conned, what can you do? To this very day I still cannot produce any good thoughts about that man. As my mom had said this past March about our hideous President Donald Trump, “He is just not a good human being,” the same could be said for my past partner. Even though the relationship ended, not well I might add, and I got rid of the trash I didn’t need in my life, I was still devastated. That relationship was the hardest for me to get over. I felt so much anger and betrayal, it took a good four years for me to really shake his presence. His still lingering effect on me is that I have a very difficult time trusting new people that come into my life. He was my “almost” regret.

Despite being attached to a very negative person in my past, I do not hold an ill feelings toward ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.’ As I have said, I do own it on DVD and have watched it once in awhile over the past decade or so. It still entertains me and still leaves me pondering, if I could erase someone from my mind, would I do it? Now I would say absolutely not. In 2009, the answer might have been yes.

Today’s Thoughts: “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.”

‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is one of those movies that I hold very close to my heart. If someone doesn’t like the film, I immediately become leery about them. It is such a thought-provoking, dramatic at times hilariously weird film, I can’t imagine anyone not liking it. I was very pleased that it was today’s film to watch.

Kate Winslet. Kate Winslet. Kate Winslet. There is absolutely no one better to watch act than Kate Winslet. Just typing her name gets me excited. She is so impressive in this role, it may be my favorite role of hers ever. And she has had a lot of fantastic roles. Her performance is absolutely thrilling to watch and I can’t imagine anyone else that could have pulled it off. That is not to say that everyone else in the cast is not equally effective. Jim Carrey, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood and Tom Wilkinson are really part of a dream ensemble. Each of them adding their own spark of quirkiness to this already left of center story.

‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ just seems to get better with age. It is still such a joy to watch and I am riveted by its screenplay and performances every time that it is on. I highly recommend the film and dare you not to like it. I mean, you get to see Mr. Ruffalo dancing around in his tighty whities, it just doesn’t get better than that. If you don’t like it though, please do not tell me. Or I will erase you from my memory.

“Maybe you can find yourself a nice antique rocking chair to die in.”

Awards: Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Screenplay, Charlie Kaufman, Michael Gondry, Pierre Bismuth (winner), Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Kate Winslet (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Jum Carrey (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Kate Winslet (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture. Charlie Kaufman (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay – Original, Charlie Kaufman (winner), BAFTA Award for Best Editing, Valdís Óskarsdóttir (winner), BAFTA Award for Best Film (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Jim Carrey (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Kate Winslet (nomination), SCreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, Kate Winslet (nomination), Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Picture (nomination), Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress, Kate Winslet (nomination), Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Writer, Charlie Kaufman (nomination), Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay, Charlie Kaufman (nomination), Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Film of the Decade (3rd Place), National Board of Review Award for Excellence in Film-making (winner), National Board of Revoew Award for Best Original Screenplay, Charlie Kaufman (nomination), New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film (nomination), New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, Kate Winslet (nomination), New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay, Charlie Kaufman (nomination), Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay, Charlie Kaufman, Michael Gondry, Pierre Bismuth (winner).

Ways to Watch: YouTube, Google Play. iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Sling TV, Starz, DVD Availability.

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