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The best work to date (2004) by screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation), this was developed from a story by director Michel Gondry and artist Pierre Bismuth. It has as much challenging originality as its predecessors, as well as a more satisfying ending and a keener sense of lived experience. The SF premise has a ring of contemporary truth: emerging from a failed romantic relationship, the hero (a subdued Jim Carrey) discovers that his ex (an aggressive Kate Winslet) has hired a company to erase all her memories of him. He enlists their services too, but technical screwups send him into a kind of temporal free fall in which past and present consciousness bleed together. Brilliantly constructed and engagingly executed, this has quite a few tricks up its sleeve—the most impressive being that all concerned trim their talents to the particular needs of the movie. With Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo, and Elijah Wood.

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