Synecdoche, New York (2008)
Critic Consensus: Charlie Kaufman's ambitious directorial debut occasionally strains to connect, but ultimately provides fascinating insight into a writer's mind.
Theater director Caden Cotard is mounting a new play. His life catering to suburban blue-hairs at the local regional theater in Schenectady, N.Y., is looking bleak. His wife Adele has left him to pursue her painting in Berlin, taking their young daughter Olive with her. His therapist, Madeleine Gravis, is better at plugging her best-seller than she is at counseling him. A new relationship with the alluringly candid Hazel 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 mockup 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. … More
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as Caden Cotard
as Adele Lack
as Sammy Barnathan
as Dr. Eisenberg
as Claire Keen
as Madeleine Gravis
as Olive (Adult)
as Ellen Bascomb / Mill...
as Like Clockwork Patie...
as Emergency Room Docto...
as Olive (4 years old)
as Caden's Father
as Caden's Mother
as Burning House Realto...
as Ellen's Mother
as Ellen (10 Years Old)
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Critic Reviews for Synecdoche, New York
Somehow, because it resists unlocking, it feels more serious, troubling, significant. It's as funny as it's depressing. It's as brilliant as it is baffling.
Brilliantly imagined and perfectly performed, Synecdoche, New York is so heartbroken and strange that it can be compared only to other Charlie Kaufman films.
The power and tragedy of the love story, or hell, the life story of Caden Cotard will become a part of you, because it is your story, and his story is yours, and back and forth and so on and on because 'everyone's everyone'.
Art is a dream through which some seek to rise above the mundane. "Synecdoche" is the nightmare of succumbing further to the mundane via art. What could be inaccessible is instead gloriously indispensable - a confounding & combative, but great, film.
Audience Reviews for Synecdoche, New York
"Synecdoche, New York" is, by all accounts, the nightmare world of Charlie Kaufman's mind. Both writing and directing, Kaufman's inner psyche is so unhinged that the result is a film so insane, so overambitious, so all-reaching and meta that its impossible to not be amazed by it, but its easy to be frustrated by it's all-consuming , baffling, abstract, fragmented wholeness.
You can tell that this film was meticulously drawn out but the final work is hard to comprehend. The film is existential to the max and only lets true scholars understand its true meaning which may make some bitter after watching such a film.
Synecdoche, New York Quotes
|Caden Cotard:||I will be dying and so will you, and so will everyone here. That's what I want to explore. We're all hurtling towards death, yet here we are for the moment, alive. Each of us knowing we're going to die, each of us secretly believing we won't.|
|Caden Cotard:||Hazel, what do you think of this title? Unknown, Unkissed and Lost?|
|Ellen Bascomb/Millicent Weems:||What was once before you - an exciting, mysterious future - is now behind you. Lived; understood; disappointing. You realize you are not special. You have struggled into existence, and are now slipping silently out of it. This is everyone's experience. Every single one. The specifics hardly matter. Everyone's everyone. So you are Adele, Hazel, Claire, Olive. You are Ellen. All her meager sadnesses are yours; all her loneliness; the gray, straw-like hair; her red raw hands. It's yours. It is time for you to understand this.|
|Hazel:||The end is built into the beginning.|
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