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I’d never realised Jim Carrey had such a deep, normal voice. I’d never realised Kate Winslet could do such a convincing American accent. I don’t want to get into an academic review of The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind because most people already know what it’s about. Suffice to say that I liked the conceit of removing painful and unwanted memories, of being able to erase experiences (and how perfect that’d be for the Oprah generation!), and the film’s unfolding contrapuntal flashbacks of the past relationship, especially its petty conflicts and difficult talking points compounding irrevocably. Winslet wants kids and Carrey is happy to have a loving lay. I liked how the film felt consistently low- or mid-budget despite much digital trickery. Michael Gondry is an excellent director of confusion, and of lively abrupt camerawork, full of surprises. Good levels of invention. Lots of gags and references: Svevo and Rain Dogs (I think) and something like a porno sketch or cartoon, flashed very quickly among Carrey’s memory objects. Probably of Winslet’s knockers, which were wonderfully absent this film. Also a great support cast, bolstering the leads with offset complexity and emotion. Frodo really comes into his own as a side-character. Almost resonating with Soderbergh’s care for the drama of the whole cast. But there was something about the closure, riding ever so close to a plot long in the tooth, where Carrey runs to ask Winslet to wait in the corridor, and a long shot of Winslet’s changing heart would’ve been ideal — but it got rushed somehow and sealed up too neatly — I didn’t really believe it character-wise, development-wise (what is this, a movie treatment, a pitch? Is this me?) Maybe it’s hard to extract depth from an inward, private character like Carrey and a flighty, surprisingly-acute-womanly Winslet. Though I was still chuckled with the romance of it all, the conceits and the plot-workings. Kaufmann does have a nose for plots, or plot-machines as the media calls them, entrapping their characters like Chaplin — but I can’t wait for him to tackle a big Hammett-style plot-murder-mystery with all the trimmings and conceits. Something really meaty.

posted by rino breebaart  # 9:01 am
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Alternatively, read about it at: The Slow Review or the long blog. Or even Nurture Health

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