I was asked to contribute a blog entry to my friend Craig Koban’s blog for his 10th Anniversary as a film critic. Here’s my entry below.
Okay. I can’t really choose my favorite film in the last ten years. That’s like asking me to compare my favorite apple with my favorite orange. There’s too many to choose from, and all for very valid and different reasons.
So, what I’ll do instead is list out the films that I was a fan of…and then pick one at random to discuss for this blog entry.
Here we go. Ready? GO!!!
– ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004)
– CASINO ROYALE (2006)
– THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)
– INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009)
– THE DEPARTED (2006)
– MUNICH (2005)
– THE HURT LOCKER (2008)
– NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007)
– INCEPTION (2010)
– THERE WILL BE BLOOD (2007)
– THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010)
– SOURCE CODE (2011)
I could go on, but I think that’s enough for now. Twelve is a nice pantheon of films for me to admire.
And since it was first on the list – ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND.
So many reasons to love this film. From the subtle, yet unbelievably rich and detailed performance by Jim Carrey, to the sensational turns by Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson and Kate Winslet. The Charlie Kaufman script, which solidified my fanboy status of his writing. The direction of Michel Gondry, whom previous to this film had really only done music videos for Daft Punk, the Chemical Brothers and a couple others including Massive Attack. And besides that, he’d done some short films and only one feature, which sort of went under the radar, called HUMAN NATURE – also penned by Charlie Kaufman, incidentally.
But the story is what got me. It always does. Maybe it’s the writer in me. But the story: well executed, laced with a sense of the strange, and a portrait of an awkward, insecure, self-doubting, yet somehow charming and madly in love man who desperately wants to forget the pain that he’s experiencing. Beautiful.
The sad beauty of melancholy is a funny thing. It draws us in every time. Even the hardest of hearts can melt in the face of it.
So there you have it. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND wins for me. The others on my list all deserve “Honorable Mention.”
Happy Anniversary, Craig. Wishing you more years of film appreciation.
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