Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (DVD)

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Charlie Kaufman, writer of the cult film 'Being John Malkovich', returns with another mind-bendingly inventive and unconventional plotline, this time driving a tender romantic comedy. Jim Carrey stars as Joel, a shy oddball who is stunned to discover that his longterm girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet), with whom he has recently split up, has undergone an experimental psychiatric treatment to have her memories of their tumultuous relationship erased. Still in love with her, and frustrated at the thought that she has no memory of their times together, he elects to undergo the procedure himself, and contacts the company who have pioneered it. The team, led by Dr Howard Mierzwaik (Tom Wilkinson), hook Joel up their computer and begin the process. The film, the majority of which takes place inside Joel's mind, then follows each of his memories of Clementine back in time as the most recent ones are systematically erased. But Joel's subconscious struggles to hold on to the memories as they slip away, and one of the nurses, Mary (Kirsten Dunst), who has undergone the treatment herself, sees his distress and eventually decides to send Joel and Clementine their files so that they know what they have lost.

Product Details

Movies & TV
25 Apr 2005
Region 2
20th Century Fox Home Ent.
Number of Discs
108 min
Age Restriction
Supply Source


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Release Year
Comedies / Doctors / Essential Cinema / Fantasy / Love / Love Story / Recommended / Relationships / Romance / Romances / Romantic Comedy / Surreal / Theatrical Release
US Box Office
$33.8 million
Official Website
Rotten Tomatoes®
93% 94%
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND is an unconventional romance told in the abstract, inventive, and comedic storytelling style of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. Like his scripts for ADAPTATION and BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, this plot works off of a relatively complex idea that is more easily explained through the language of film than through words. In its most basic description, Joel (Jim Carrey) is undergoing a medical procedure to erase the memory of his ex-girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet). However, while he is unconscious and the procedure is underway, he takes a journey through his mind, reliving moments with Clementine for fear of losing her forever. Using disjointed sound and action, foggy periods indicating Joel's confusion, and flashbacks to childhood where objects appear much bigger than they are to adult eyes, the cinematography communicates Joel's dilemma with visual hilarity. Only occasionally is the film laugh-out-loud funny; instead it is much more deeply and darkly amusing as the absurdity of the situation grows. ETERNAL SUNSHINE is nothing short of brilliant--a credit to director Michel Gondry (who has a topnotch reputation for his aesthetic music videos by artists such as Bjork). Carrey is wonderfully understated in the role of a simpleminded nice guy, and his signature goofiness is used only a handful of times. Winslet lights up the screen with her blue hair and orange sweatshirt, playing a lively free spirit and loose cannon. There are also strong supporting performances by Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, and Mark Ruffalo, along with an excellent score by Jon Brion and a peppy soundtrack including songs by E.L.O. and the Polyphonic Spree. The film's conclusion promises to satisfy viewers; it offers a beautiful metaphor for the end of a love affair that brings perfect closure to this excellent film.
Theatrical Release: MARCH 19, 2004
Poster for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Cast & Crew
Michel Gondry
Kirsten Dunst / Kate Winslet / Jane Adams / Jim Carrey / David Cross / Mark Ruffalo / Thomas Jay Ryan / Tom Wilkinson / Elijah Wood
Charlie Kaufman
Jon Brion
Executive Producer
Georges Bermann / David L. Bushell / Charlie Kaufman / Glenn Williamson
Anthony Bregman / Steve Golin
Director of Photography
Ellen Kuras
Valdis Oskarsdottir
Production Designer
Dan Leigh
Costume Designer
Melissa Toth
Pierre Bismuth / Michel Gondry / Charlie Kaufman
Movie Critics
Box Office
"There's a tenderness and a wistfulness to Kaufman's writing and Carrey's performance..."
Ray Greene (1 May 2004, p.31)
Chicago Sun-Times
"ETERNAL SUNSHINE has an emotional center, and that's what makes it work."
Roger Ebert (19 Mar 2004, p.27)
Entertainment Weekly
"Watching ETERNAL SUNSHINE, you don't just watch a love story - you fall in love with what love really is."
Owen Gleiberman (26 Mar 2004, p.50-1)
Los Angeles Times
"ETERNAL SUNSHINE is more than anything else deeply sincere."
Manohla Dargis (19 Mar 2004, p.E1)
New York Times
"[Gondry] can define contradictory emotions with extraordinary clarity and alacrity. It's why he's so suited to handling much of this particular Kaufman script."
Elvis Mitchell (19 Mar 2004, p.E13)
"[A] masterpiece....Kate Winslet is truly remarkable....The supporting cast is brilliant..."
Glenn Kenny (1 Apr 2004, p.22-4)
Rolling Stone
"Gondry and the pitch-perfect actors have crafted a remarkable film that can coax a smile about making the same mistakes in love and then sneak up and quietly break your heart."
Peter Travers (1 Apr 2004, p.96)
Ultimate DVD
5 stars out of 5 -- "ETERNAL SUNSHINE is a profound and heart-clenching romantic fantasy....This is a film to own and cherish forever."
David Richardson (1 Aug 2007, p.85)
"It's another screenwriting triumph for the prodigiously gifted Charlie Kaufman, directed with visionary panache by Michel Gondry."
Allan Jones (1 Nov 2004, p.157)
USA Today
"Going to the movies would be an eternally wondrous experience if more movies were as smart, ambitious, offbeat and emotionally rich as ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND."
Claudia Puig (19 Mar 2004, p.1E)
Wall Street Journal
"A romantic comedy unlike any other, this gorgeous phantasmagoria takes a question that's been posed by poets across the ages -- of what is love compounded? -- and examines it through fanciful scans of a scorned lover's cortex."
(3 Dec 2010, )


Academy Awards
Best Original Screenplay
Winner: 2004 - Pierre Bismuth
Best Original Screenplay
Winner: 2004 - Michel Gondry
Best Original Screenplay
Winner: 2004 - Charlie Kaufman