November 15, 2008 by  

Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in "Synecdoche, New York."

Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Catherine Keener
Directed by: Charlie Kaufman (debut)
Written by: Charlie Kaufman (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”)

It’s evident from films like “Being John Malkovich” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” that screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is a modern genius when it comes to vision and individuality. In his directorial debut, Kaufman, like he does with 2002’s “Adaptation,” writes a story about a writer who writes himself into his own story (get that?).

This time, Academy Award-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Capote”) fills in as his muse and is cast as Caden Cotard, a playwright who emotionally deteriorates while leading an acting troupe through an endless charade of obscurity. It’s a dark and complex tale, but as an audience, it might seem as though Kaufman has left us floating on the outer edges of a conversation he’s having with himself.

Grade: C-

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