There is no question about it, this Jim Carrey’s finest work. He brings a clear spirited depth to the part of Joel—making Joel Jim’s most stark yet most respectable character role to date. Even though Eternal Sunshine may not be one of Jim biggest money making endeavors (compared to his comedies), it certainly puts him on the path of being perceived as an actor who is capable of seriousness. At far as earning an Oscar nod for ‘04, because of the film's early release date and the fierce competition up for the Best Actor nominations, Jim was gypped.
In addition to Carrey’s career performance, the remainder of the ensemble cast fares equally as well. Kate Winslet serves up some of her best non English-accented acting as the orange-haired and sporadically veclempt Clementine. (Sorry for the Yiddish slang.) Her work here is arguably better than anything else she has done—with the possible exception of her other near-astounding effort in Finding Neverland. Kirsten Dunst and Mark Ruffalo are as faultless as always, and both Tom Wilkinson and Elijah Wood are as top-notch as expected in their respective supporting roles.
With his superb use of light (or more appropriately darkness) and his watertight scene transitions, director Michel Gondry has crafted an utter joy of a film that cleverly starts out near the end and then wraps back upon itself by the conclusion. Overall, the quirky yet visual genius of Gondry combined with the warped yet brilliant mind of Charlie Kaufman has undoubtedly resulted in a beautiful and poignant romance. The manner in which Eternal Sunshine blends its romance and comedy gives the film a strong sense of undeniable individuality and makes for an overtly pleasing picture. Eternal Sunshine has the aptitude to tickle your thinking cap, sooth your sight, and hypnotize your heart. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind belongs in the absolute upper echelon of all that is romantic and unique. (***1/2 out of ****)