Adaptation (2002)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Dizzyingly original, the loopy, multi-layered Adaptation is both funny and thought-provoking.

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Movie Info

Despite the success of his first produced script, "Being John Malkovich," for which he received an Academy Award nomination for best original screenplay, Charlie Kaufman is plagued by insecurities, both in his career and his personal life. When he is hired to adapt "The Orchid Thief," a nonfiction book about a fanatical orchid breeder, John Laroche, he is completely stumped. Though, on the surface, the book is about Laroche's flower poaching adventures in the Florida Everglades, on another level it's also about the desire in all of us to experience passion. This longing plagues the book's author, Susan Orlean and, Charlie realizes, himself as well. Charlie's twin brother, Donald Kaufman, only makes things worse when he moves in with Charlie and announces he's going to be a screenwriter too. As Charlie battles his severe case of writer's block, Donald cheerily types away on a script about a serial killer with multiple-personality disorder. Donald's script immediately sells, making him the "hot" new writer in town. Then, one day, Charlie has a last ditch inspiration. He'll use his own dilemma as a framework for the script about Laroche and Orlean. But as the words start to flow, and the story takes shape, Charlie inadvertently sets in motion a chain of events impacting on the lives of all the characters.
Rating:
R (for language, sexuality, some drug use and violent images)
Genre:
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Nicolas Cage
as Charlie Kaufman/Donald Kaufman
Meryl Streep
as Susan Orlean
Chris Cooper
as John Laroche
Tilda Swinton
as Valerie
Brian Cox
as Robert McKee
Cara Seymour
as Amelia
Jay Tavare
as Matthew Osceola
Litefoot
as Russell
Jim Beaver
as Ranger Tony
Judy Greer
as Alice the Waitress
Doug Jones
as Augustus Margary
Stephen Tobolowsky
as Ranger Steve Neely
Gary Farmer
as Buster Baxley
Peter Jason
as Defense Attorney
Gregory Itzin
as Prosecutor
Curtis Hanson
as Orlean's Husband
Agnes Badoo
as Orlean Dinner Guest
Paul Fortune
as Orlean Dinner Guest
Paul Jasmin
as Orlean Dinner Guest
Lisa Love
as Orlean Dinner Guest
Wendy Mogel
as Orlean Dinner Guest
David O. Russell
as Orlean Dinner Guest
Bob Yerkes
as Charles Darwin
Lynn Court
as Laroche's Dad
Roger E. Fanter
as Laroche's Uncle
Sandra Lee Gimpel
as Laroche's Mom
Caron Colvett
as Laroche's Wife
John Etter
as McKee Lecture Attendee
Ray Berrios
as Police Officer
Nancy Lenehan
as Kaufman's Mother
John Malkovich
as Himself (uncredited)
John Cusack
as Himself (uncredited)
Lance Acord
as Himself (uncredited)
Catherine Keener
as Herself (uncredited)
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News & Interviews for Adaptation

Critic Reviews for Adaptation

All Critics (200) | Top Critics (38)

For two-thirds of its running time the film is close to genius. But there's still no third act.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It's the sort of movie that keeps reinventing itself and nudging us in the ribs as it does. You'll want to see it soon, because everyone you know will be talking about it.

April 27, 2003
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Few recent movies have conveyed so forcefully how people can feel shut out by their own lack of passion, how they yearn to end the emptiness.

January 16, 2003
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Mired in the inertia of Charlie's writer's block, as if the real Kaufman never found his own passion for the material.

January 10, 2003
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 10, 2003
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

One-of-a-kind near-masterpiece.

January 9, 2003
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Adaptation

Spike Jonze once again delivers exactly what you'd expect from Spike Jonze--the unexpected. There's a lot to chew on in this movie. This movie goes to show that Nicholas Cage is a good actor sometimes.

   
   

Super Reviewer

A triumphantly meta film that takes every opportunity to take a filmic cliche and completely turn it on its head. This is writer Kaufman's movie as much as it is Jonze's, and the duo manage to provoke laughs, pathos, and thought in this surreal dive into the writing psyche, complete with a wonderful dual performance from Nicolas Cage.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

Adaptation is one of the most intelligent and original films I've ever seen. Charlie Kaufman did a fantastic job with the script and it makes the audience think; this is something that not a lot of films do. All the acting is great especially by Nicolas Cage who convincingly portrays two people. I really liked the main character, Charlie, who is someone we can relate to. This is a film that leaves a lasting impact not only because it's so unique, but because of how emotionally powerful it is. One of my favorites.

Eric Shankle
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

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