Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hammervision's 10 Best of the Decade: No. 7

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004)

Screenwriters rarely get the credit they deserve. When a movie works, it's usually the directors, the actors, the cinematography, etc. that gets recognized. How refreshing then to see Charlie Kaufman be one of the few screenwriters whose name alone on a project makes it worth seeing. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is his masterpiece, and one that will be awfully hard for him to top. And this from the guy who also wrote Being John Malkovich! Both movies are great, but I think the edge has to go to Eternal Sunshine. The movie is ingenious and inventive, but what makes it Kaufman's best work is its emotionally resonant subject matter. Rarely has a romantic relationship on screen been depicted with such originality and beauty. Kaufman is ably supported in the visual department by story collaborator and director Michel Gondry, who consistently keeps things interesting and playful, and definitely has a lot of fun with the medium - challenging the audience but never losing sight of the emotional through line. And the performances! Kate Winslet is fantastic as always, and so is Jim Carrey. I always forget Carrey is in this movie - he gives such a low-key, nuanced performance, but unlike other comics in serious roles, he's never dull or inexpressive. To filmmakers everywhere, Eternal Sunshine is an inspiration. One should always aspire to think and dream as far outside the box as this movie actually does.

Here's the running list:

10. Mission: Impossible III
9. The Royal Tenenbaums
8. United 93
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
6.
5.
4.
3.
2.
1.

Agree? Disagree? Post your thoughts below, and come back soon for No. 6.

- John

3 Comments:

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll hold comments until the list is done. - Brian

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger HVH said...

We were on the same page with Mission Impossible 3...but you have since lost me. You don't even want to know what I thought of Tenenbaums.

 
At 12:17 AM, Anonymous theresa patrick said...

Once again, the Hammer demonstrates his impeccable taste in film. 'Eternal Sunshine' is among my favorite flicks on God's green earth. Flawless performances by every member of the star-studded cast (excepting, of course, Kirsten Dunst who unfortunately peaked with "Interview w/a Vampire...her best work has proven to be behind her).
Anyone who has suffered heartbreak will undoubtedly relate to this eloquent film that posits the questions: "Would it have better...would it have been easier simply to never have met you? Can we ever truly dull the pain of love lost."
If you haven't seen this one, RUN, do not walk, to your neighborhood video store. Some major life lessons await you...

t.p.

 

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