It’s taken me far too long to get around to seeing this film, as an admirer of Kaufman’s writing (Adaptation is in my top ten favourite films) it makes no sense that I would take so long to get to this modern classic. Regardless I’ve felt shameful for too long, now hopefully I can redeem myself.
My biggest worry with this one would be Jim Carrey. Now I like the guy, I love a lot of his performances, however I just wasn’t sure that I could buy him in this film. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This is a perfect role for Carrey; it allows him to indulge in his crazy antics from time to time, but it also exposed a side of him which I hadn’t seen before. His introverted role here was a breath of fresh air for me, creating a believable character who I really could connect to. He wasn’t the only pleasant surprise though, Kate Winslet was so very enjoyable in her role. She was very different to Carey, but so kinetic and fun that I just found myself loving her time on screen.
I did find myself comparing Eternal to Adaptation a couple of times, and Adaptation does feel like the braver, more intelligent film. Whereas Eternal discusses humanity and heartbreak it doesn’t seem to go much further than that other than a brief comment on technology and also our seemingly destructive nature. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy this one, I think it is one of the best films of the previous decade and I’m extremely glad that I have now seen it, but Adaptation is the true Kaufman classic in my eyes.
Having just sat down to compile this list I have been somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer amount of highly regarded films which I really ought to have seen by now. I already feel well and truly shamed. Do I have to publish this online? Oh well, there’s a mixture of time periods and styles in there which should keep things varied, I am embarrassed to admit one of these as I’m a huge Sergio Leone fan, and I’m pretty certain that I’ve saved the worst until last. Enjoy my embarrassment!
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
City Lights (1931)
The Apartment (1960)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Seven Samurai (1954)
The Great Dictator (1940)
A Fistful of Dynamite (1971)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
And so there they all are, judge me as freely as you like!
So I made my list and I’m happy with it, but the more I thought about it the more films I wanted to add. My first list is sort of heavy, but I have some lighter shame too. Here’s another list of twelve. 24 films in a year are certainly do-able. It’s not like I was curing cancer anyway.
Being John Malkovich Say Anything
Dances With Wolves The Grifters
The Right Stuff
No Country for Old Men Miller’s Crossing
Moon The Boys in the Band
Stranger Than Paradise
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind