Kate Winslet received her fourth Best Actress nomination for playing Clementine, a "fucked-up girl who's looking for her own peace of mind" in the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Wow, many have said this but it's true: Kate Winslet's performance as Clementine is the kind of work that's usually snubbed by the Academy and many uproar afterwards because of this snub. That's what happened for instance with Sally Hawkins. However, the Academy had a very good period, I guess and they nominated this very unusual piece of work. I feel, though, that Winslet was probably only fourth in the voting though nowadays most people would actually give her the win. It's more than satisfying to see her get recognised.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a fascinating, original movie that doesn't stop amazing me with its witty and yet incredibly heart-breaking story. It once again shows how stupid the Golden Globes are that they nominated this movie as a Comedy. The Oscar for the Best Original Screenplay is one of the most deserved one ever to be given out (I can only think of Annie Hall, Hannah and her Sisters and Chinatown that are as good as this one). And in my humble opinion, Jim Carrey was cheated out of the nod (once again) as he was more deserving than 60% of the field. But I can mention the wonderful supporting cast as well. They are all memorable.
Recently, I have developed a huge crush on Kate Winslet. You know, she's a wonder woman (figuratively and literally, too since that fire in September) who shows greatness in each of her roles. Every time she injects an astonishing amount of talent into her role and she's so incredibly versatile. I can only think of Jane Fonda who's as versatile as Kate. For Kate, it's no big deal to play a Nazi guard after an unhappy housewife or the self-sacrificing Mildred Pierce before the drunken, constantly puking wife in Carnage. The unusual, strange role of Clementine Kruczynski fits perfectly into that group. Kate's self-admittedly looking for very different part and that's something that I admire most about her.
Her role as Clementine is said to be Kate's personal favorite and this work of hers has a huge amount of fans among movie buffs and Oscar fans. Why exactly? I would say because she creates a modern day Annie Hall, a girl who's so easy to fall in love with. Clementine is not a huge beauty, she's not very kind, she's weird, she's imperfect and yet so irresistable that you just feel it's completely appropriate that Jim Carrey's Joel cannot (and doesn't want to) forget her. However, Kate's part is far from being that "easy". Actually, she plays two Clementines (to perfection). One of them is the real Clementine we get to see after she erases her boyfriend from her mind. The other one exists in Joel's mind and I dare say she's probably even more fascinating than the real one.
It's always very hard to play such a tricky character because you can never rely on the reality or your mind. You have to really listen to your own instincts that tell you how to play that person. I feel that Kate's instincts worked wonderfully in this case. She has no big dramatic scenes, no huge, showy breakdowns, she just has to work with her charm and wit. She wonderfully shows how outspoken and sometimes annoying this character can be and she's never afraid of making her really unlikeable. The funny part of her performance is really nailed by her: she shows Clementine as a weird girl and yet she never seems to be an idiot or stupid. Kate wonderfully found the balance in this aspect. She shows so many sides and faces of this character. She's selfish, she's loving, she's loud, she's quiet, she's beautiful, she's ugly, she's lovely, she's annoying and she basically shows all the features of a human being. Clementine wears her heart on her sleeve and yet there's a mysterious feeling in her. We don't really get to know Clementine's personality and yet what we see is enough to fall for her.
There's a scene around the middle of the movie when Clementine asks Joel if she's ugly. That's probably the most wonderful scene of the whole movie. In the end, Joel says that he doesn't want it to end and the lack of Clementine becomes so incredibly painful. Kate added this irresistable bittersweet feeling of the end that's impossible to forget or even communicate. You just feel heartbroken because of her.
Another thing that I admire about Kate here is that she's so playful while also taking her job extremely seriously. This comes through especially in the scenes when the memory of Clementine and Joel hide in Joel's childhood memories. Kate is so delightful and (again) wonderfully bittersweet. She even gets to play a very small girl and she's so incredibly funny and moving there. I just felt like hugging her or something.
Although Jim Carrey is the real lead in this movie, it's Kate Winslet who makes the movie. She's the heart and soul of it and every little secret of it is in her character. Basically, Clementine becomes a symbol of love and life. She's occasionally hateful, painful and you just want to get rid of her and yet in the end, she makes it all worthwhile. Every tiny movement of hers is sparkling with the creativity of Kate Winslet who's quite simply astonishing here.
This performance has a lot of enthusiastic fans and I'm happy to say that I'm one of them: Kate Winslet is nothing short of brilliant as Clementine Kruczynski, the complicated young woman. She evokes all the great feelings of Diane Keaton's Annie Hall without shamelessly copying her. Kate's Clementine is an utterly fascinating, unique creation bursting with creativity. Kate solved her task flawlessly and she deserves nothing but praise for it.
What do you think?