The great movie scenes: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

(Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind) says to me…true love is still possible and you can put your faith in it.

What makes a film a classic? In this column, film scholar Bruce Isaacs looks at a single sequence from a classic film and analyses its brilliance.

This month we look at Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry. (Spoiler alert: this clip contains the last scene.)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004.

The film is about memory, desire, love and loss. In this scene, Isaacs focuses on what he calls two “cinematic gestures” in the closing sequences of the film.

The scene features Joel Barish (played by Jim Carey) and Clementine Kruczynski (brilliantly portrayed by Kate Winslet) as they realise their relationship is doomed but still worth pursuing.

It is, says Isaacs, a beautiful and deceptive sequence that includes one of Jim Carey’s finest moments on screen.

See also:

The great movie scenes: Hitchcock’s Vertigo

The great movie scenes: Antonioni’s The Passenger

The Conversation

Bruce Isaacs does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.


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