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May 1, 2024

Polaroids of Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet From the Set of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American science fiction romantic drama film directed by Michel Gondry based on Charlie Kaufman’s screenplay, and a story by Gondry, Kaufman, and Pierre Bismuth. The film stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, with Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, and Tom Wilkinson in supporting roles.

The film follows two individuals who undergo a procedure to erase one another from their memories following the dissolution of their romantic relationship. The title of the film is a quotation from the 1717 poem Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope. It uses elements of psychological drama, science fiction, and a nonlinear narrative to explore the nature of memory and love.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind opened in theaters in the United States on March 19, 2004, to widespread acclaim from critics and audiences, who hailed the visual style, editing, writing, score, themes, Gondry’s direction, and the performances of the cast, especially Carrey and Winslet.

Winslet and Carrey received widespread praise for their performances. Winslet’s as Clementine received multiple award nominations, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role and a Golden Globe Award nomination. Premiere magazine placed her performance 81st in their 2008 list of the 100 Greatest Performances of All Time. Claudia Puig in a review for USA Today said of her performance “Winslet is wonderful as a free spirit whose hair color changes along with her moods. She hasn't had such a meaty role in a while, and she plays it just right.”

Ann Hornaday in a review for The Washington Post said “Even when forced to wear costumes and wigs that make her look like Pippi Longstocking after an acid-fueled trip to the thrift market, Winslet maintains a reassuring equilibrium. It takes an actor of her steadiness to play someone this unhinged.”

Carrey’s performance as Joel also received multiple award nominations, including a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role and a Golden Globe Award nomination. Many reviewers noted his casting against type. Jason Killingsworth in a review for Paste magazine said of his performance “Carrey nails the part, winning audience sympathy from the opening moments of the film.”

Moira MacDonald in a review for The Seattle Times stated “[Jim Carrey is] not bad at all — in fact, it’s the most honest, vulnerable work he’s ever done,” while David Edelstein of Slate said “It’s rarely a compliment when I refer to an actor as “straitjacketed,” but the straitjacketing of Jim Carrey is fiercely poignant. You see all that manic comic energy imprisoned in this ordinary man, with the anarchism peeking out and trying to find a way to express itself.” The supporting cast also received acclaim, with several reviews, such as Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post and Rick Groen of The Globe and Mail singling out Ruffalo's performance for praise.

The film was a box office success, grossing $74 million on a $20 million budget, and was named by the American Film Institute one of the Top 10 Films of 2004. At the 77th Academy Awards, Bismuth, Gondry and Kaufman won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and Winslet received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. The film became a cult classic in the years since its release and is considered by many critics as one of the best films of the 2000s, and one of the greatest films of all time. Below are some rare behind the scenes Polaroid photos from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.


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