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SoundTRAX: "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

Jim Carrey is looking up to the sky.
Hollywood Records
Focus Features

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

In honor of Jim Carrey's 62nd birthday today we're taking a look at his 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Carrey plays Joel, who is shocked to learn his girlfriend Clementine (brilliantly played by Kate Winslet) has had a procedure to have the memories of their stormy relationship erased. Joel decides to do the same thing, only to discover it's not quite that simple.

It's always been hard for me to take Carrey seriously as an actor because, come on, the man has made some remarkably bad choices in films and tends to lean hard into cartoonish theatrics.

But he brings his A game to this one and is truly impressive. As is the rest of the cast, including Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst, and Elijah Wood.

Critics raved and audiences loved it too. It won Best Screenplay at the Academy Awards the following year, with Winslet garnering a nomination for Best Actress as well.

And the soundtrack is equally impressive.

The score was provided by composer Jon Brion, and his tunes mix beautifully with perfect selections by ELO, Polyphonic Spree, and two great tracks from the L.A. band The Willowz. There's also some Indian pop music and a couple of nostalgic treats from Don Nelson (brother of Ozzie Nelson and uncle of Ricky Nelson, if you're old enough to remember who they were.)

But the real anchor of the film and soundtrack is the cover of a 1980 one-hit wonder by the British band The Korgis.

In honor of Jim Carrey's 62nd birthday, today's SoundTRAX selection features an arrangement by Jon Brion with vocals by the one and only Beck.

From Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, it's "Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime."

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.

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