78. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, Michel Gondry (2004)

Part of The 100 Greatest Movies I’ve Ever Seen list.

Eternal Sunshine

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

dir. Michel Gondry (2004) scr. Charlie Kauffman, Michel Gondry, and Pierre Bismuth cin. Ellen Kuras with Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, and Tom Wilkinson

In 100 words: No film in the last decade or so has casually reinvigorated a fallow genre by fusing it to an intelligently designed labyrinth of a script that manages to be so eggheaded, silly, bizarre and finally moving and wise. Sunshine is a breath of fresh air: it takes old-school Hollywood tropes—the meet-cute, relationship foibles, the funny workplace dynamics and antics—and bends it enough with great visual gags and hilarious jokes. But within its beautifully crafted digital frames, inspired music choices, and its trippy architecture is a film brimming with earnest insights and thoughts on what it means to love.

Other Movies for Context: Charlie Kauffman, God bless his genius writing, has made several movies that I adore. Sunshine is his peak, but I’d make room for his brilliantly depressing (and morbid) take on art in Synechdoche, New York (2008), his insightful and funny take on writer’s block in Adaptation (2002), and his mindtrip (literally) of a film Being John Malkovich (1999).

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