3rd: Donnie Darko
It’s 1988 upper class suburb Middlesex, Virginia. Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a disturbed kid who talks to a giant creepy bunny called Frank and disappears at night. His parents (Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne) have him talking to psychiatrist Dr. Lilian Thurman (Katharine Ross).
Frank tells him that the world is ending in 28 days. A jet engine crashes into his room while he’s away sleepwalking. No one knows where it came from. He falls for new student Gretchen Ross (Jena Malone). The school is flooded and English teacher Karen Pomeroy (Drew Barrymore)’s assignment is blamed.
Gym teacher Kitty Farmer (Beth Grant) begins to teach lessons from motivational speaker Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze). His science teacher Dr. Kenneth Monnitoff (Noah Wyle) gives him a time travel book written by local mad woman Roberta Sparrow.
We love the weird moody style. It’s got a surreal suburbia that feels more like the small town in Blue Velvet. It’s a beautiful place on the surface hiding an ugly core. Frank is just weird and Jake Gyllenhaal plays off of it with a disturbing performance. There is the crazy sci-fi element. All of it mash together in one of the most unique blend.
The 80s music is terrific. We also didn’t notice Seth Rogen was in this until watching much later. The final ending is a little bit confusing and we’re not sure what it all means. I would have preferred one that wraps up with more sense, but hey, they don’t call it a mindfuck movie for nothing, right?
2nd: The Prestige
“Are you watching closely?” Just as magicians use this gibe on their audience, the makers here keep constantly nudging its audience throughout this tricky thriller. The Prestige is a carefully crafted story of trickery and deception of two rival magicians in Victorian England, directed by the greatest magician of them all: Christopher Nolan.
Set in a world of top hats, cravats and disappearing bunnies, The Prestige tells the tale of Alfred Bowden (Bale) and Robert Angier (Jackman), who start out as fledgling magician apprentices. They get locked in a bitter feud after the death of an assistant in an illusion gone wrong and subsequently go in search of the ultimate trick.
As their quest to become the greatest magician becomes resilient, the counter maneuvers escalate and each man to best the other. Just when you think that Borden’s obsession could be only quenched by Angier’s death, the film turns in on itself again, and we’re left the stage for clues, grow even more anxious for the big prestige.
Soon, flashbacks switch to flash forwards, and quickly we’re entangled in a murky conundrum. But that’s all I will say. You wouldn’t want me to spoil the prestige for you now!
Nolan keeps the mood eerie and unsettling, and with all its Gothic trimmings The Prestige comes to feel like a slow-burn horror movie. There are nifty tricks galore up the sumptuous sleeve of this mystifying and wildly entertaining thriller, about obsession, secrets and lies.
You know all along you’re being misdirected by cinematic sleight of hand, but you can’t avoid being sucked in and that is Nolan’s greatest triumph. Of course, he is ably buoyed by a pair of carefully complex performances from his superb lead cast who weave the film’s heftier ideas seamlessly into the breathable fabric of a great thriller.
Nolan has been exploring the dual nature of man throughout his extraordinary career. With The Prestige though, Nolan takes this aspect to new realms. You will leave the cinema posed with the exact same question “Was I watching closely?”
1st: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind directed by Michel Gondry is one of the most outstanding, original and riveting movies I have ever seen. Charlie Kauffman does it again with a spectacular and uniquely original screenplay accompanied by phenomenal performances from Jim Carrey (as Joel Bash) and Kate Winslet (as Clementime).
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind perfectly orchestrates subtle moments, heartfelt experiences and other key features of film and storytelling in order to create a master piece of emotion, action and truth.
Well written screenplay
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind depicts Joel Barrish (Jim Carrey) undergoing a procedure to rid himself of the memory of his ex girlfriend Clementime (Kate Winslet) after discovering she had already undergone the same procedure. Written by Charlie Kauffman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of the most original and well written screenplay of the century.
With it, shining lights on subtle moments, whilst also producing some of the most heartfelt moments in cinema history. The use of subtly is effectively used throughout to produce symbolist if meanings not usually presented in your everyday film. This rewards viewers who pay attention to the little details and immerses the audience deeper into the film.
Each character was beautifully constructed and manipulated so as to have the viewer exactly where they need to be throughout the film. Also as expected in a Charlie Kauffman screenplay, heavy symbolism is used throughout so as the audience can delve deeper into the film. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind also has a unique re- watch-ability due to this originality, detail and amazing characters. This is also a movie I would more than definitely recommend to watch more than once, as lots of details are lost throughout.
Both Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet perform superbly throughout which greatly increased the immersion throughout. Special credit given to Winslett as she performed phenomenally throughout and was a perfect fit for her role. As for Jim Carrey I thought his acting was superb as well, with what felt like a whole other side to the actor.
Also we see some great acting from the other side characters such as Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst and Mark Ruffalo who help tie together the whole story. Without these great actors I can imagine the movie would have never been quite up to the phenomenal level it currently is.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of the most amazing, heartfelt and tremmendesly great movies and deserves recognition for every various aspect within.