Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York

By Charlie Kaufman

  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Date: 2008-10-24
  • Advisory Rating: R
  • Runtime: 2h 3min
  • Director: Charlie Kaufman
  • Production Company: Likely Story
  • Production Country: United States of America
  • iTunes Price: USD 12.99
  • iTunes Rent Price: USD 3.99
7.6/10
7.6
From 935 Ratings

Description

From Charlie Kaufman, comes a visual and philosophic adventure, "Synecdoche, New York." As he did with his groundbreaking scripts for "Being John Malkovich", "Adaptation", and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", Kaufman twists and subverts form and language as he delves into the mind of a man who, obsessed with his own mortality, sets out to construct a massive artistic enterprise that could give some meaning to his life. Theater director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is mounting a new play. His life catering to suburban blue-hairs at the local regional theater in Schenectady, New York is looking bleak. His wife Adele (Catherine Keener) has left him to pursue her painting in Berlin, taking their young daughter Olive with her. His therapist, Madeleine Gravis (Hope Davis), is better at plugging her best-seller than she is at counseling him. A new relationship with the alluringly candid Hazel (Samantha Morton) has prematurely run aground. And a mysterious condition is systematically shutting down each of his autonomic functions, one by one. Worried about the transience of his life, he leaves his home behind. He gathers an ensemble cast into a warehouse in New York City, hoping to create a work of brutal honesty. He directs them in a celebration of the mundane, instructing each to live out their constructed lives in a growing mock-up of the city outside. The years rapidly fold into each other, and Caden buries himself deeper into his masterpiece, but the textured tangle of real and theatrical relationships blurs the line between the world of the play and that of Caden's own deteriorating reality.

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Reviews

  • The Dream of Every Artist

    5
    By BlueDoors
    When a reviewer makes snide jokes about a smart film being dumb, we've learned more than that reviewer wished we learned. First of all, Cotard is not suffering a mysterious illness, he is suffering life. Secondly, for most people living a life is a hard enough task, for an artist the trick is to also witness life while living it. That is the artist's lament. Cotard tries and tries and tries, but then he has to witness himself witnessing. As another has mentioned here, 8 1/2 is a great comparison.
  • breathtaking

    5
    By papababoo
    A very rewarding movie experience, I am glad I found it here.
  • The best

    5
    By BreakingTheBad
    One of the most unique and inspiring movies I've ever seen.
  • SOMETIMES A GENUIS GETS A LITTLE FULL OF HIMSELF

    2
    By Bubble+tea=7,000
    5/10 Synecdoche, New York, is a great example of a movie that has an awesome first hour, and an awful second hour that completely drives everything that the first hour built up into the ground. That’s why Im split at 5/10. If the second half hadn’t completely disintegrated into weird just for weirdness’ sake nothingness, then this movie would probably be a 10/10. No kidding. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Charlie Kaufman fan. I adore Being John Malkovich. But even though I’m such a huge fan, I also understand that sometimes he can fly off the handle and create something that is so abstract, so bizarre, so impenetrable, that it comes off pretentious and masturbatory. For the first half, the movie perfectly balances the bitter confusion of Caden’s existential crisis with dark comedy, which makes it all the more sadder when the second half brings all that down. In the second half, instead of dark comedy, we are swapped out with more bitter confusion. That’s when the movie becomes a chore to get through. It’s almost like Kaufman is testing us as an audience. How much surreal can you take? Well, my answer was: Not two straight hours of it, Charlie. Around the last 40 minutes, the movie gets emo. Really, really emo. Really depressing, really exhausting, and really really really really pretentious. I couldn’t wait until the movie would end, in all honesty. Save yourself some time, just watch Being John Malkovich or Adaptation.
  • Words Fail

    5
    By judith-smiles.
    …to describe this miracle of a movie. I tremble every time I think about. Be warned; the first time you watch is an overload, the second is an epiphany.
  • great movie, although it has some flaws

    4
    By augias84
    It's a sad movie, it moves slowly, it is absurd in many ways - calling it a comedy could be misleading to some people, since it is funny in its details, and the humor is dark, but the overall mood of the movie is very melancholic. I thought it has an enormous emotional impact. Not everyone likes how it makes them feel though. I liked it very much and recommend it. It is less accessible than "Adaptation", but well worth the time.
  • Single most pretentious piece of trash ever.

    1
    By Soojaganoo
    Single most pretentious piece of trash ever.
  • Absolutely Brilliant. Unimaginably Complex. Like Life.

    5
    By Alec_Baldwin
    Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut is the best drama made in the last ten years. It is impeccably cast and written meticulously so that the viewer becomes drawn into the Moebius strip of the world (both spatially and temporally) which Mr. Kaufman creates. He consciously shifts time and probable outcomes, characters' foreground and background, even genders to paint the most lush depiction of, not to overstate, EVERYthing ever committed to film. Death and love and loss and redemption amid the jangling cacophony of existence are woven layer upon layer into an experience which will leave you breathless and ecstatic and crying at its end. If you are seeing this for the first time, ignore the liner notes. See SYNECDOCHE for the hilarious, impossibly tragic, absurdist masterwork it is. Ignore the premise. Let it carry you. It's beautiful.
  • Loved it!

    5
    By cadynjoe
    I feel it is an amazing movie, put yourself in the main characters shoes, how would you feel if your wife left you and took your child only to never she her again til shes an adult? Its a moving movie; has some comical parts to it but i wouldnt consider it to be a comedy. If you watch it you have to be in an open state of mind :)
  • Awesome!

    5
    By Oh YeahYeah28854
    Wow! Happy I bought it!

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