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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind poster
Directed by Michel Gondry
Produced by Anthony Bregman
Steve Golin
Starring

Jim Carrey
Kate Winslet
Kirsten Dunst
Mark Ruffalo
Elijah Wood
Tom Wilkinson

Music by Jon Brion
Cinematography Ellen Kuras
Editing by Valdís Óskarsdóttir
Distributed by Focus Features
Release March 19, 2004
Running time 109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million
Gross revenue $72,258,126

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic comedy-drama science fiction film about an estranged couple who have each other erased from their memories, scripted by Charlie Kaufman and directed by the French director, Michel Gondry. The film uses elements of science fiction, psychological thriller, and a nonlinear narrative to explore the nature of memory and romantic love. It opened in North America on March 19, 2004, and grossed over US$70 million worldwide.

Kaufman and Gondry worked on the story with Pierre Bismuth, a French performance artist. The film stars an ensemble cast that includes Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson, Elijah Wood, Jane Adams, and David Cross.

The film was a critical and commercial success, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and has garnered a cult following. Winslet received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Plot

Emotionally withdrawn Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) and unrestrained free spirit Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) strike up a relationship on a Long Island Rail Road train from Montauk, New York. They are almost immediately drawn to each other despite their radically different personalities.

Although they apparently do not realize it at the time, Joel and Clementine are in fact former lovers, now separated after having spent two years together. After a nasty fight, Clementine hired the New York City firm Lacuna, Inc. to erase all her memories of their relationship. Upon discovering this, Joel is devastated and decides to undergo the procedure himself, a process that takes place while he sleeps.

Much of the film takes place in Joel's mind. As his memories are erased, Joel finds himself revisiting them in reverse. Upon seeing happier times of love with Clementine from earlier in their relationship, he struggles to preserve at least some memory of her and his love for her. Despite his efforts, the memories are slowly erased, with the last memory of Clementine telling him: "Meet me in Montauk".

In separate but related story arcs occurring during Joel's memory erasure, the employees of Lacuna are revealed to be more than peripheral characters. Patrick (Elijah Wood), one of the Lacuna technicians performing the erasure, is dating Clementine while viewing Joel's memories, and copying aspects of their relationship in order to seduce her. Mary (Kirsten Dunst), the Lacuna receptionist, turns out to have had an affair with Dr. Howard Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson), the married doctor who heads the company—a relationship which she agreed to have erased from her memory when it was discovered by his wife. Once Mary learns this, she quits her job and steals the company's records, then sends them out to all clients of the company.

Joel and Clementine come upon their Lacuna records shortly after re-encountering each other on the train. They react with shock and bewilderment, given that they have no clear memory of having known each other, let alone having had a relationship and having had their memories erased. Joel beckons Clementine to start over; Clementine initially resists, pointing out it could go the same way. Joel accepts this, and they decide to attempt a relationship anyway, starting their life together anew.

Cast

  • Jim Carrey as Joel Barish
  • Kate Winslet as Clementine Kruczynski
  • Kirsten Dunst as Mary Svevo
  • Mark Ruffalo as Stan Fink
  • Elijah Wood as Patrick
  • Tom Wilkinson as Howard Mierzwiak
  • Jane Adams as Carrie Eakin
  • David Cross as Rob Eakin
  • Deirdre O'Connell as Hollis Mierzwiak
  • Thomas Jay Ryan as Frank
Jim Carrey films

The Sex and Violence Family Hour (1983)  · Copper Mountain (1983)  · All in Good Taste (1983)  · Finders Keepers (1984)  · Once Bitten (1985)  · Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)  · The Dead Pool (1988)  · Earth Girls Are Easy (1989)  · Pink Cadillac (1989)  · High Strung (1991)  · Doing Time on Maple Drive (1992)  · Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)  · The Mask (1994)  · Dumb and Dumber (1994)  · Batman Forever (1995)  · Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)  · The Cable Guy (1996)  · Liar Liar (1997)  · The Truman Show (1998)  · Simon Birch (1998)  · Man on the Moon (1999)  · Me, Myself & Irene (2000)  · Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)  · The Majestic (2001)  · Bruce Almighty (2003)  · Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)  · Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)  · Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)  · The Number 23 (2007)  · Horton Hears a Who! (2008)  · Yes Man (2008)  · I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)  · A Christmas Carol (2009)  · Under the Sea 3D (2009)  · Mr. Popper's Penguins (2011)  · The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)  · Kick-Ass 2 (2013)  · Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)  · Dumb and Dumber To (2014)  ·

Kate Winslet films

Titanic (1997)  · Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)  · Steve Jobs (2015)  · The Dressmaker (2015)  · Triple 9 (2016)  ·

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