Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. USA, 2004. Focus Features, Anonymous Content, This Is That Productions. Story by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth, Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman. Cinematography by Ellen Kuras. Produced by Anthony Bregman, Steve Golin. Music by Jon Brion. Production Design by Dan Leigh. Costume Design by Melissa Toth. Film Editing by Valdis Oskarsdottir. Academy Awards 2004. AFI Awards 2004. Golden Globe Awards 2004. Washington Film Critics Awards 2004.
After a horrific break-up with his scatterbrained girlfriend (Kate Winslet), Jim Carrey discovers that she has had a medical procedure on her brain to make her forget him, so in the spirit of revenge he does the same. When two lab technicians (Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood) show up to perform the evening-long procedure that is accomplished all through the night while the subject sleeps, Carrey’s subconscious finds itself resisting the idea of letting this woman he loved so dearly go away. Gradually, the memories begin to fade but not without a fight from our hero who comes up with some very clever ways to hold on to his lady and keep her safe in his brain. Another crafty screenplay by Charlie Kaufman has been turned into a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience, with exceptional direction by Michel Gondry (most famous for his music videos, especially those for Bjork), who can hardly film a single shot without some element of creative genius. Winslet gives a fantastic performance, a truly iconic depiction of love’s ideal while at the same time a vulnerable mess. Even though the film’s visual splendor is what at first seems most impressive about it, what really surprises you is how it leaves you with bittersweet feelings; it’s a surprisingly romantic film at the center of a delightfully quirky story.