Written November 25, 2008
Charlie Kaufman crates movies that I love. These films, however, are only rewarding to those willing to commit themselves entirely. Many people can't manage to hang on.
In Adaptation, Kaufman takes us on a ride aboard a conflicted author's thoughts, ultimately challenging us to distinguish between his art and reality. In Synecdoche, the line between Caden Cotard's art and life becomes so blurred, the audience must lose track of reality at times.
Hazel is the untouchable love interest whose window opens to Caden too soon after his separation from Adele. As he writes Hazel's character into his play, he literally creates an affair between his actor and the real Hazel, while Caden commits to Hazel's actor. Love cannot be orchestrated and is destined to fail.
Perhaps the most compelling component of the film is Kaufman's ability to express Caden's agony. Philip Seymour Hoffman makes Caden worthy of our pity. This allows us to empathize with his artistic ideals and conflicts.
Written December 15, 2008
I admit that this movie is not for everyone, but for those who love Charlie Kaufman movies and how they make you think very, very deeply about your life, this is another winner.
Written October 05, 2010
** I can't imagine most people I know liking this film. It is depressing, and exhausting. It is challenging, with many layers. Read the dictionary definition of "Synecdoche" before seeing the film -- it is both easily understood, and the most mind-bending definition I think I've read, and is appropriate for this movie both in definition and in feel. It is so rich and dense, that it is inevitably relevant to us all. Before watching this movie, you must commit to two hours of intense artistic experience. You should be well-rested and able to completely focus on the movie. The performances, particularly Philip Seymour Hoffman (in the main role) are outstanding. Kaufman's other movies (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., Eternal Sunshine...) prepare you for this movie, but this movie is even more of what his previous movies were. Alas, he has either gone too far, or created his masterpiece. Or both. Either way, it is a towering artistic achievement.
Written December 11, 2008
Movie dragged on; acting was very good, Hazel particularly. Save your money; see a different flick.
Written December 14, 2008
What a waste of time. Sadly we were laughing at inappropriate places. These wonderful performances were wasted on this movie that went no where slowly. Just shoot me!