Synecdoche, New York (2008)
Synecdoche, New York Image Cover
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Director:Charlie Kaufman
Studio:Sony Pictures
Producer:Spike Jonze
Writer:Charlie Kaufman
Rating:3.5 (83 votes)
Date Added:2009-11-03
Purchased On:2009-11-03
Picture Format:Anamorphic Widescreen
Aspect Ratio:2.35:1
Sound:Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Charlie Kaufman  ...  (Director)
Charlie Kaufman  ...  (Writer)
Philip Seymour Hoffman  ...  
Samantha Morton  ...  
Michelle Williams  ...  
Catherine Keener  ...  
Sadie Goldstein  ...  
Summary: An insanely ambitious, dazzling, maddening movie, Synecdoche, NY is the directorial debut of Charlie Kaufman, the inspired screenwriter of twisty, mind-bending movies like Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Broadly summarized, it's about a director named Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who, after his wife leaves him, sets out to create a theater production that will mirror all of life in New York City by literally recreating the city inside of a gigantic warehouse--including versions of his lover, his new wife, and himself, who become so entrenched in his life that eventually there must also be doubles of these doubles... which only describes a fragment of the intertwining storylines. At points even the most attentive viewers may feel confused by the sheer abundance and density of ideas and narrative threads, as the movie veers from mundanity to an exaggerated but not impossible reality to sheer surrealism. But by the end, though the movie folds in on itself multiple times and tries to encompass more of life than any movie can coherently contain, Synecdoche, NY comes to a remarkably full and resonant conclusion. Think of it as Kaufman's version of 8 1/2, another movie about creativity and a conflicted psyche. Hoffman's performance, solid but difficult to empathize with, is balanced by dozens of vivid characters played by an astonishing cast, including Samantha Morton, Catherine Keener, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hope Davis, Michelle Williams, Dianne Wiest, Emily Watson, and more. Sprawling, flawed, both intimate and epic, Synecdoche, NY is a unique and impressive achievement that will reward (and perhaps even demands) multiple viewings. --Bret Fetzer

Stills from Synecdoche, New York (click for larger image)