Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

“Please let me keep this memory, just this one.”

What do you get when you combine the weird and innovative nature of a Charlie Kaufman script with the daring visuals of director Michel Gondry? Obviously, the only answer is the cult classic Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. With its totally unique spin on a doomed (or perhaps destined) romantic relationship, this film defies all logic and expectations viewers may have. Blending romance, drama, a bit of science fiction, with a dash of comedy, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is absolutely one of a kind.

"a once in a lifetime type of film"

Don’t you wish that you could just forget some painful memories? Well in this film, you can. After going through a rather nasty break up with her boyfriend Joel (Jim Carrey), an impulsive and eccentric Clementine (Kate Winslet) has a procedure done so that she will forget who Joel is completely. So, when Joel tries to find Clem and fix things after their last fight, Joel is heartbroken to find out about her getting the procedure. After some sulking, he decides that he will do the same. So, one night, he goes into a prescribed deep sleep so that the memory technicians, played by Mark Ruffalo and Elijah Wood, can come in and wipe all memories of Clementine. The good and the bad. But as Joel journeys backwards through his memories of Clem, he starts to regret the procedure and tries to find a way to stop it from within the memories. He tries to get the Clementine in his memories to help him. They get off the path that the technicians try to follow. Joel starts to remember what made Clementine so great in the first place. How she was so different from himself and how that excited him. Despite his best efforts at trying to stop the memories from being erased, the bad, as well as the good memories disappear one by one. But perhaps that is not the end of Joel and Clementine’s relationship…

Kaufman’s writing is as outlandish as it is precise. Going backwards is a great spin on a tale of love. Joel and Clementine are sent through some ridiculous and unthinkable routes as they travel back through Joel’s memories, but it never feels like the movie loses its way. The jumping around paired with a fast pace can potentially be a tad overwhelming upon first viewing, but the story’s logic is set up quickly and executed within its world with a great precision and is held together by a its simple and relatable core.

Kaufman also exceeds in the art of the side character. In what I think is a real masterstroke is his ability give the supporting characters that include Ruffalo, Wood, Kirsten Dunst, and Tom Wilkinson, who all take part in performing Joel’s memory procedure, a totally flushed out story in so little time. This gives the film an extra layer of depth as well as tragedy. And what is also hilarious and weirdly relatable is how the work that they do, which is impossible (at least for now), is treated as some mundane job rather than making it into some giant spectacle that some Hollywood movies probably would. No one is glorified for what we would consider a ground-breaking procedure. But in this movie, it is treated like some standard operation. And it is things like this that keep the film exceptionally well-grounded.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Not enough praise can be given to Gondry for executing Kaufman’s script excellently, but he also gifted us with wild and unforgettable visuals. The visual craziness that he commits to is downright awesome. A bed on a beach. Joel and Clementine laying next to a giant crack on ice. A car falling out of the sky or a house falling apart while Joel and Clem fight. A re-creation of Joel (still as an adult) somehow reliving a childhood memory in his mother’s kitchen. (This is also a part where Carrey’s classic comedic chops and elastic face make an appearance.) Or the countless times Joel is actively watching himself inside his own memories. Everything that Gondry is able to pull off through great practical effects and shot manipulation are exciting marks of brilliance by the director.

The two stars also deserve much praise, especially since both Carrey and Winslet play against their normal character types. It is always a joy to see Carrey shows off his dramatic chops, which he is more than masterful at, especially in this film. And it is so refreshing to see Winslet take a break from playing the proper, classical characters and have fun totally embodying the crazy, unpredictable Clementine.

There is so much to love about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It is a once in a lifetime type of film. It is so touching and relatable that it is ridiculous. Nothing seems out of place since everything is out of place (I hope you know what I mean by that). And it is such a rich and full love story that despite the problems that Joel and Clem have at the beginning, by the end, we are rooting for them to somehow find each other again. And the film even leaves you with a sense of hope.

Perhaps some people are just destined to be together. It doesn’t matter. We just can’t help who we love.

5/5 stars


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

4k details divider

4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray Edition

Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray
- July 26, 2022
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray locked to Region A

From acclaimed writer Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich) and visionary director Michel Gondry (The Science of Sleep) comes Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a sci-fi love story starring Jim Carrey (Man on the Moon) and Kate Winslet (Titanic). Joel is stunned to discover that his girlfriend, Clementine, has had their tumultuous relationship erased from her mind. Out of desperation, he contacts the inventor of the process, Dr. Howard Mierzwiak, to get the same treatment. But as his memories of Clementine begin to fade, Joel suddenly realizes how much he still loves her. Co-starring Kirsten Dunst (The Virgin Suicides), Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings) and Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton), Eternal Sunshine takes you on a surreal journey through breakups, breakdowns and breakthroughs, with captivating performances (including Best Actress Oscar nominee Winslet) and dazzling creativity (which earned the Best Original Screenplay Oscar).


With a brand-new Dolby Vision HDR Master, color graded by cinematographer Ellen Kuras, the new Kino Lorber release was able to allow Kuras to restore her intended look of the film that is full of rich colors with a wide range of depth. The sharpness of the image is great as well with no noticeable flaws at all. It is a great restoration.


With the 5.1 surround sound, everything comes in clean and clear with a nice mix that is sure to shine what the different channels.



  • Audio Commentary by Director Michel Gondry and Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman

Special Features:

  • MEMORY LIGHT: NEW Interview with Cinematographer Ellen Kuras
  • A LOOK INSIDE ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND: Step into the minds of the filmmakers in this behind-the-scenes look at the film
  • A CONVERSATION WITH JIM CARREY AND MICHEL GONDRY: The star and director reflect on their favorite on-set moments
  • Theatrical Trailer

4k rating divider

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

5/5 stars

Film Details

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

MPAA Rating: R.
108 mins
: Michael Gondry
Charlie Kaufman
Jim Carrey; Kate Winslet; Tom Wilkinson
: Drama | Romance | Sci-fi
I already forget how I used to feel about you.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Adults are, like, this mess of sadness and phobias."
Theatrical Distributor:
Focus Features
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 19, 2004
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 26, 2022.
Synopsis: After a painful breakup, Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure to erase memories of her former boyfriend Joel (Jim Carrey) from her mind. When Joel discovers that Clementine is going to extremes to forget their relationship, he undergoes the same procedure and slowly begins to forget the woman that he loved.


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind