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Memento is the best film I've seen in a long time and it is my early pick for best of the year.  This a most unusual movie both in its plot and in its style.  The story follows Leonard  Shelby (Guy Pearce) who has suffered a head injury at the hands of the man who also murdered his wife.  As a result of the injury, Shelby cannot retain any new memories but his old memories remain intact.  Despite this handicap, Shelby is trying to find his wife's killer.  He resorts to some very ingenious ways of keeping track of things even though he can never remember anyone he's met before or anywhere he's been.  In the mix, are a cop (Joe Pantoliano) who may or may not be trying to help Shelby, and a bartender (Carrie-Anne Moss) whose drug-dealing boyfriend has disappeared.  Added to the confusion of the main character, is some confusion for the audience.  Memento is shot backwards.  The film opens with the last scene and every scene thereafter is followed by the scene that happened just before it.  This technique is applied with such dexterity that each scene naturally follows the one before it even though we are moving backwards through time.  And it is amazing how it kept me on edge trying to figure out what's going on even though I'd seen the end of it.  Australian actor Guy Pearce is excellent as the guy who can't remember who he's talking to unless he has a polaroid of him or her in his pocket.  I've only seen him in a couple of movies previously but they were both good ones, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and L.A. Confidential.  Joe Pantoliano, who meets Shelby over and over again for the very first time as they investigate the murder, is one of my favorites. He is one of those character actors, referred to as, "the busiest man in Hollywood." And he is always good.  He first appeared on my radar screen way back in 1983 as Guido, the killer pimp in Risky Business  and recently was Cypher in The Matrix, my favorite film of 1999.  He is joined in Memento by his co-star in The Matrix, Carrie-Anne Moss.  She does another good turn here as the bartender who uses Shelby's memory problem to solve her own problems.  And I don't love her just because she's Canadian!  Memento is so well structured that at least until the end (the beginning?) of the film, it is quite easy to follow the story.  It gets purposely quite murky before the credits roll as facts that seemed very clear cut earlier (later?) on in the film disappear like Shelby's memory.  Go see this one.  It's very memorable.