E S of the S M

People who write reviews for a living would be in big trouble if it weren’t the fact that griping about faulty movies is far, far easier than writing praise for good ones. That’s mainly why I haven’t mentioned “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”:http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0338013/, which I saw last week and found very fine indeed. Charlie Kaufman has finally come into his own. _Being John Malkovich_ was good fun, if not quite as clever as everyone gave it credit for, and _Adaptation_ was grossly overrated. But in _Eternal Sunshine_ all that Kaufmanesque reality-bending is done in service to the story, not as ornamentalism or coy self-reference. And what a sad, sweet tale it is, too: emotionally powerful while never devolving into sentimentality, and speaking the truth about every romance that’s ever lasted more than a couple of months.

And Kate Winslet: ho boy! She’s right back on my Top Five list after this performance. There’s a vacancy, too, ever since Kate Beckinsdale’s prompt ejection on grounds of Unforgivable Romanian Accent in a Film Trailer. Jim Carrey performs well, too, and there’s even room for his physical comedy in a way that, again, is done in service to the story and not just to See Jim Be Funny.

Definitely wins the B.M.S.F.T.Y. award.