Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
"Sand is overrated, it's just tiny little rocks." - Joel
Where to start with one of my all time favorite movies? I love the original score by Jon Brion, who did the music for another one of my favorite films that same year (2004), I <3 Huckabees. The theme (above posted gets stuck in my head all the time, as does the track Elephant Parade, I don't know how powerful they are without the association to the film (for those odd few of you who might not have seen it), but they tug at my heart strings something awful. So if you don't know, Eternal Sunshine is a film Staring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet alongside a strong supporting cast (of whom David Cross deserves a special mention, because he is awesome). The movie begins with Joel (Carrey) discovering that his long time girlfriend Clementine (Winslet) has elected to have her memory of him erased following a big fight, and in desperate retaliation decides to have the procedure done himself. The majority of the film takes place in Joel's mind as he relives memories of Clementine as they are erased, starting with the most recent and working back. It's so unconventional that it is difficult almost to call it a love story, but above all else, that is what it is. We watch Joel experience the good and the bad, and not in the 25 minutes left in the film we need a low point now kind of way, in something much more like life. Without breaking the whole film down, I'll just say that the choice go through the memories backwards was brilliant, as Joel is able to realize how much more there was to the relationship than the rough bit he was in, to realize what it is he is losing. I really don't want to include a spoiler section, if you have seen this movie then you don't need convincing that it's awesome. If you haven't seen it, then go do it right now.
The Truman Show
"We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented." - Christof
So you might well guess now that I'm a fan of Jim Carrey's serious roles. Truman is an adventurous man who has lived his whole life in a quite little town despite his efforts to see the world. In truth though it hasn't been bad luck that has kept him where he is, it's been clever planing on the part of corporation that broadcasts his life to the world. Truman was an unwanted pregnancy legally adopted by the company that produced a reality show around his life, in which he is the only one unaware of the cameras all over town. The film picks up as Truman's wanderlust and a series of strange occurrences lead him to question the world around him. A strong premise well executed, funny but also very moving.
Stranger Than Fiction
"No, no. It's not schizophrenia. It's just a voice in my head. I mean, the voice isn't telling me to do anything. It's telling me what I've already done... accurately, and with a better vocabulary." - Harold
As with Carrey, I became a fan of Will Ferrell's comedy before discovering that I like him better in more serious roles. Stranger than Fiction follows Harold crick, an uptight auditor for the IRS. Harold lives a meticulously ordinary life, the same every day and all by himself. Until one morning Harold hears something, a voice narrating his routine. Harold is at a loss as to what is happening and his need for answers is made urgent when the narrator explains, "Little did he know that this simple seemingly innocuous act would result in his imminent death." We soon meet this narrator that Harold is about to begin his search for, a well known author of tragedies (Emma Thompson) who is suffering writer's block. She can't decide how to kill Harold, affording him a small window to solve his mystery. In attempting to determine the genre of his story Harold pursues an infatuation with a revolutionary baker he is currently auditing (Maggie Gyllenhaal) at the behest of the professor of literature who has agreed to help him. Did I mention the proffesor is played by Dustin Hoffman? That's right Dustin Fucking Hoffman. Man, I love him, but more on that When I get around to Huckabees. In the mean time, this is another great film, funny, moving, and full of rocking tunes.