|Adaptation (Superbit Collection)
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The Superbit titles utilize a special high bit rate digital encoding process which optimizes video quality while offering a choice of both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. These titles have been produced by a team of Sony Pictures Digital Studios video, sound and mastering engineers and comes housed in a special package complete with a 4 page booklet that contains technical information on the Superbit process. By reallocating space on the disc normally used for value-added content, Superbit DVDs can be encoded at double their normal bit rate while maintaining full compatibility with the DVD video format.
Twisty brilliance from screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze, the team who created Being John Malkovich. Nicolas Cage returns to form with a funny, sad, and sneaky performance as Charlie Kaufman, a self-loathing screenwriter who has been hired to adapt Susan Orlean's book The Orchid Thief into a screenplay. Frustrated and infatuated by Orlean's elegant but plotless book (which is largely a rumination on flowers), Kaufman begins to write a screenplay about himself trying to write a screenplay about The Orchid Thief, all the while hounded by his twin brother Donald (Cage again), who's cheerfully writing the kind of formulaic action movie that Kaufman finds repugnant. By its conclusion, Adaptation is the most artistically ambitious, most utterly cynical, and most uncategorizable movie ever to come out of Hollywood. Also starring Meryl Streep (as Susan Orlean), Chris Cooper, Tilda Swinton, and Brian Cox; superb performances throughout. --Bret Fetzer
- No one plays 'the blonde with a dark side' better...
...than Streep. Witness this role, Sophie's Choice, Klute (oh, that wasn't her). This is really about Charlie Kaufman's monumental case of writer's block and his need to make a snorefest novel about orchids of all things into a screenplay. He wants to do the novel justice but his dark side (a duo role played by Cage)--his brother thinks he just oughtta go for the Die Hard audience. (In a similarly veined Coen brothers flick, the writer blocked screen scriber has a run in with who we can only say is the devil personified)...'the brothers' take a trip or two trying to cull any morsel of interesting item from Streep's novel and her personality. Sooner or later they run smack into the misanthropic toothless orchid hunter who's been turning her onto the mysterious orchids extracts. Chris Cooper gets a role he can sink his teeth into and Streep sends more postcards from the edge. Easily this is a show that requires more than one viewing to capture it's shadings and subtleties. When you do watch it, have some wine along wit'cha. ...more info
- One of the best movies ever!!!
When I first saw Adaptation I thought it was pretty decent. Now I think it's one of the coolest movies ever. It's hard to describe what it's about, except to say that it is the story of a screenwriter trying to adapt a book about an orchid hunter, and eventually writing a script about not being able to write the screenplay about the orchid book. Not a great explanation, but if you like Being John Malkovich or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, both written by the same guy, Charlie Kaufman, you will love this movie. ...more info
- Nothing and everything
Adaptation is an apt title for this film because it's a word play on the meaning. It could either mean (1)adapting the book to screenplay to screen or (2) adapting to the circumstances. And both these meanings suit the storyline perfectly. It's about Charlie, a screenwriter, who fails to adapt to his surroundings, therefore bringing about his failed relationships, his sexual fantasies, unlike Donald, his twin brother, who has written a successful (though cliche, gauche) trailer and has a beautiful girlfriend.
In the meantime, Charlie tries to adapt a book written by Susan (Meryl Streep), which in end, ends up in tradegy and comedy and happy endings.
This movie is really about nothing and everything; it is a film on writing about a film, which will be made into a film. Very postmodernist.
The beginning is rather slow at times, but it manages to heighten the fission at the end of the movie. And the ending of the movie may be a spoof or not.
Nothing happens in this movie, but everything else does.
One of the best movie I have seen in recent years. ...more info
- Comedy Not at it's best
this is one of the worst comedies i've seen, it's an okay movie, the only reason it's okay its because of nick cage. other than that it's dumb...more info
- Not for the Casual Surface Dweller
This movie Rocks! I can honestly say it is one of the most inspiring and intelligent movies of the decade. If you've ever been in a relationship (any will do) where you felt squashed and unable to breathe; due to your own inequities or imagined; Charlie Kaufman will free the jar of captured fireflies just for you; Meryl Streep is superb! Chris Cooper made me weep. I wrote a poem just for Charlie Kaufman once b/c I truly understand how he feels. All I can say is that I could watch this movie every day and not get bored. ...more info
- A surprising movie - but read the book first!
My wife and I listened to The Orchid Thief on CD during a summer car trip and enjoyed it immensely. It's a pretty straightforward chronicle of Mr. Laroche's antics as well as the history of orchid collecting (and stealing). We had heard of the movie, but until hearing (reading?) the book, had no interest in seeing it. But now, our interest was piqued, so we watched it. The movie is incredible and wildly original, using the book, the subjects and the author to springboard into a fascinating character study of the book's principals and the scriptwriter who tries to turn it into a movie. You must read the book first - you will be amazed and laugh out loud when the book's story ends, and everything goes off the rails, taking all the characters into a surreal adventure plot, with drugs, guns, and attacking alligators. Keep an open mind, and you will enjoy this very original and creative story. Cage's performance as the twin brothers is worth watching alone - they are identical, but he makes them both instantly recognizable as individuals.
- Great Acting. Poor Screenwriting
I guess many people like giving the middle finger to Hollywood. We all need scape goats. Or do we?
This movie had wonderful acting, which pulled the movie up about 10 degrees past dull. While I do not care for contrived, poorly made Hollywood blockbusters, I am even more sickened by the pseudo-intellectual elite who are so angry at the cash being pulled in that they position themselves as the "struggling genus who will never be appreciated for the masterpieces he creates."
Blech. Total self pity. True genius isn't the sewage and bilge that swills in the hidden corners of your mind. Anyone can feel sorry for themselves. True genius speaks for itself, and doesn't need the elite to tell the "uneducated" dummy what the point was.
We live in a world where a 75 IQ individual is considered a fool despite the fact that he has enough intelligence to open doors for elderly women, and 150 IQ "geniuses" wallow in the muck of human existance, busy telling us how bad it is to be alive.
Poor, poor Kaufman. You need to write a screenplay about a man who is clueless to the fact that real people like heroes. You need to write a screenplay about a man who has no clue that we are not defined by what we love, but rather by how we act.
Kaufman is typical of our modern era: we are what we think we are, and we are NOT what we do. Kaufman thinks he's brilliant, all the while I feel like I'm sitting in a recommended restaurant being served a steaming pile of crap.
Enjoy being better than everyone!...more info
- Adaptation is a Profound Thing
I've only just seen this movie but I'm sure that I'll buy it. It's definetely more complex than you would think in the beginning, "Is he his twin or is he a dissociative identity disorder piece? Is this adapted from a fictional book or a nonfictional one? And why did I just see one of the twins lying on his back in 'that' room?" I've only seen it once but I'm sure I'll have the answers to all those by the 4th time around or so. I really like this movie, it had me on the edge of my seat booming with the Irish cackle and had me in tears of sorrow, but most importantly it's helped me to laugh at myself. I have no doubt that this movie is not for everyone, especially people who can't admit to themselves that they're at least a little insane, which believe it or not, you are if you are alive on this planet right now. Bottom line, cupcakes chop-choop and a pinkly-powdered peedle-pie, try this movie for something slightly different. ...more info
- Watch This Movie, Please!
I loved this movie. I was one of the many that stayed away from it when it was in the theaters, despite having enjoyed "Being John Malkovich." I had heard great reviews, but there was something about it (starring Nicolas Cage? About The Orchid Thief?) that I wasn't buying.
At any rate, I watched it on DVD and was so glad I did. This movie has to be the most creative adaptation of a literary work that I have ever seen, which should come as no surprise since Charlie Kaufman wrote it. It is very clever but never precious, thank God, and the concocted story of Charlie and his ( in reality) non-existent, hack-screenwriter brother is a fantastic complement to Susan Orlean's book. This movie is really entertaining and accessible, while also serving as a funny critique of the mainstream pap produced by Hollywood studios.
While annoying in so many of his other films (save "Leaving Las Vegas"), Nicolas Cage is very good as both Charlie and his twin. Meryl Streep is--no surprise--wonderful in her role as Susan Orlean. She is so funny in this movie. Chris Cooper is also great, as usual, and really disappears into his role as the orchid thief.
A creative, hilarious, really well-done movie. I can't recommend it enough....more info
- Iraqi writer living in Los Angeles from 2002
For arabic readers , you can read my review of this great movie in my page :
It's funny how often people use the word brilliant when describing this movie. It is not a word that you hear very often in reference to a movie and when you do the movie being described usually doesn't deserve it. This is a rare exception to that, it is a brilliant, brilliant movie. Another amazing script from the now Academy Award winning Charlie Kaufman, directed beautifully by the future Academy Award winning Spike Jonze. In my opinion these two aer just about the best people working in Hollywood today. Both movies they have teamed up on blew me away, and I can hardly wait for their next masterpiece.
There is really nothing else to say about this movie. If you have seen it you know what I am talking about, and if you haven't you need to....more info
- One of my favorites
Disappointed when I saw it in the theater, but multiple viewings have made me a rabid fan. This movie is so clever, amusing, hilarious, provocative, heartbreaking, poignant, honest, and ultimately so satisfying for all its ambiguity. To try to describe or synopsize it is like tying lead weights to the tail of a whirling kite.
As for the gorgeous writing and observations-- whose are they??? I read the book after seeing the movie and found that some of what we are led to believe are Orleans' most honest and beautiful passages really belong to Kaufman. Wildly original. Highly recommended. ...more info
- "Jumps the alligator" early and goes downhill fast
Oh boy, so much of this movie is so wrong. From the overheated casting (Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep) to the destructive and cynical plot, "Adaptation" is a director's star turn that falls flat on its face. What happened to the cool detachment and finely-drawn characters of "Being John Malkovich"? Sorry, Charlie, but your own writers-block is never good material for a film, especially when it turns out this overplayed and underwritten. Chris Cooper is easily the best thing in this movie (no front teeth to chew the scenery with...) and the Florida Everglades never looked so beautiful. A very unfunny movie that's capsized by its own smug attitude....more info
- Film adaptation? Biological adaptation? Emotional adaptation?
A very strange self-referenced, self-involved, solipsistic film about a screenplay about a book about a flower. An article appeared in the New Yorker about orchids in the Everglades, it was turned into a book, Charlie Kaufmann was commissioned to turn it into a screenplay, Charlie Kaufmann didn't know how to write it as a screenplay so he reinvented himself as Woody Allen and wrote a screenplay about Woody Allen struggling to write a screenplay. The story works on many outrageous levels, and there are tons of brilliant scenes, just as there are tons of brilliant distractions. Kaufman also rather unsubtly uses the multiple meanings of the word "adaptation" to get even deeper, and more literary. Great stuff, very good. Kaufmann invents a twin brother, both of which are played by a very remarkable Nicholas Cage outperforming Eddie Murphy and Jeremy Irons in the dual role thing, and then "resolves" him in a very amazing way. Well, talk about catharsis! Kaufmann plays the ultimate joke by highjacking the original novel and turning it into a conflict that is man vs man, man vs nature, man vs himself, man vs drug-crazed hippy intellectuals. Insane. ...more info
- in a league of its own
Original and breathtaking. Meryl Streep isn't just a supportive
actress, she is a presence. Who cares what the story is about, when it's taken to this level of creativity, it's cinema. The scenes with Nicolas Cage are funny and neurotic, infused with irony, frustration and the madness of a struggling artist. The opening sequence of the movie is outrageous without losing focus, its a movie unto itself, yet it's part of what the movie is about; evolution. So why does the director decide to unravel the whole thing in a ridiculous ending, like pulling a thread from your favourite beautifully wooven sweater and destroying it? He wanted to remind us of a few things;1) a movie is a movie, not life.2)this is what it's like when you give in to commercialism?3)he also let Cage's character have a little fun and forget perfection. And why did he do all this? To remind us he is the creator, that in the end the script doesn't have a mind of its own, it is victim to every Dick, Harry or Jane. But before we ever got to the ending, the film presented great moments of self-discovery and lingering moments that showed a new self-awareness with Streep's character. Also wonderful character development with Chris Cooper, who plays
a man obssesed with one particular flower, a man who understands beauty and the commitment, it takes to survive something horrible. Spike Jonze has created a film with visual abandon and without fancy special effects. Only imagination. ...more info
- Why Adaptation is So Good
Adaptation is one of those movies that most folks don't seem to appreciate. I have a friend who I respect a great deal and who is also in this group of people. She wanted to know why I would rate the film so highly when I'm clearly not stupid. "It's amazing and deep," I told her. "Really, how so?" she asked me. And when I thought about it, I found that though I felt very strongly about my statement, I could not tell her why I felt this way. I decided to watch the film again with this in mind and here is what I discovered...
The film opens with Charlie asking himself the age-old questions about who he is and why he exists. We're then taken through a few scenes that simultaneously set up Charlie as a man who is clearly a passionate intellectually--perhaps even a genius--yet thoroughly uncomfortable in his own skin. He's looking not just for his place in the world, but his place within himself. I think that this distinction is key in the film.
Charlie is trying to find himself by stretching his creative process through his writing. I don't think that he knows that he's on a personal search in this process--he just knows that he has to reach deep within to create his screenplay or he will not be satisfied. He's scared of this exploration and his fear keeps him from writing what he wants to write, how he wants to write it. This is analogous to his life, where fear is preventing him from doing a number of things. Most importantly, it's preventing him from knowing himself.
His fear also comes to light in his dating life. He does not believe that he has worth and therefore he can not see that the woman he is interested in is also interested in him. This is so pronounced to be almost ridiculous as to the audience she is clearly not just fiends but thinks that she is dating him and wants to move the relationship forward.
The parallel story of Susan and Laroche is also one of searching. Susan is not happy but does not know it. She realized that she has a lack of passion (as a counter point to Charlie) and discovers that she is not just unhappy but is also full of an undefined want. Laroche is full of passion but is unfulfilled and looks outside of himself for fulfillment--throwing himself into things to try to develop and understand his passion. His lack of growth is played out metaphorically by leading to his fate at the end of the movie.
When I first started looking at Laroche in the context of the film, I felt that he was an underdeveloped (though very fun and funny) character in the face of the other, deeper characters of Susan and Charlie. Upon further inspection I realized that we do get to know him a great deal and that my initial feeling matched one of the main points of the film. I wanted Laroche to learn something--as characters do in "Hollywood" movies. He does not truly learn anything and that leads to his fate--which is in itself a very Hollywood thing in a very un-Hollywood film.
When Susan and Laroche make a dial tone together, they begin to see that they are what they are looking for in each other. Unfortunately Susan just finds something to be passionate about, but does not deal with her desire to be passionate and lack of understanding of passion. She gains an understanding at a terrible price by the end of the film. She does this by only looking outside of herself and not looking inside.
Charlie's brother Donald is at the same time someone who Charlie wants to be and someone who he does not want to be. Charlie wants to retain his introspective genius and gain Donald's easy nature. When Charles starts to ask for/accepts Donald's help, Charlie begins to find the things in himself that he's missing. It's less of a journey of discovery and more of a journey of action. The key to this journey of action, however, is that he is open to its lessons due to the great amount of work he's done looking into himself. Once he sees that the journey is about him, he can take its lessons truly to heart.
Susan's desire to be a baby--to be new--relates to us the seriousness of taking a journey outside of one's self to see inside without a simultaneous and perhaps deeper journey inside.
The "Hollywood" nature of the film that is not thought of as a "Hollywood movie" is genius. Charles breaks all of the rules of writing to create a masterpiece save for one--to find that thing, that conflict, that something that happens. Everything that Charlie does not want in the movie is in the movie--but none of it comes off as being "Hollywood." This is masterful. And he uses the character of the screenwriting lecturer--the guy who is prepackaging the writing process as though it's a formula--to show that it is a formula, but it is one that mixed properly, can produce something that you don't expect--something that is better and feels different than anything before it, though it still uses all of the things that you're used to and that you expect.
So upon this further reflection, I have an answer for my friend. Adaptation is amazing and deep because the journey of personal discovery that's taken in very small but deeply significant steps is seriously touching and important. To realize that these small steps in life can take you such a far distance is a powerful thing. Combining that lesson with the technical excellence used by Spike Jonze with one actor for two roles along with the writing genius of using and calling out all of the things you expect in a "Hollywood movie" in this "art house" film makes Adaptation an important and soul-stirring movie....more info
- A joyous, unique treat!
I just finished watching this terrific movie again. ADAPTATION is truly one of those movies that actually grows richer upon a second viewing. The first time I saw it, I was blown away by the fantastic acting and enjoyed trying to follow the dynamics of the movies. I say "dynamics" rather than twists and turns, because on the surface, there are no twists. The movie just unspools "realistically" with a generous dose of carefully labeled flashbacks. But underneath, what we're really seeing is a movie that "twists" from straightforward storytelling to a movie that may actually be the playing out of the screenplay that is being written (which is what the movie is about).
Nicolas Cage plays Charles Kaufman, the screenwriter for BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, who has just been hired to write an adaptation of the bestselling THE ORCHID THIEF by Susan Orlean. Of course, the fun begins right there, because this movie is written by Charles Kaufman, who actually WAS hired to adapt THE ORCHID THIEF. Charles is a deeply neurotic and insecure person, prone to flop-sweats and bouts of either shyness or manic babbling. His internal dialogue, which we share from time to time, is a masterpiece of self-flaggelation. Charles lives with his twin brother Donald (also Cage), a sweet, simple person who idolizes the work Charles has done and also lives much more in the real world. Of course, Donald DOESN'T exist in our world. In the movie, we see how Charles becomes incapable of writing a screen play of Orlean's book, because he admires it so much, because it probably isn't ideal for a movie treatment and because Charles develops a fixation for Orleans (Meryl Streep).
From there we are shown glimpses of the story of THE ORCHID THIEF (Chris Cooper, Oscar-winner), how the man was arrested for poaching rare orchids in the swamps of Florida, and how his little story attracted reported Orlean, who went to interview the man and spent enough time with him to develop an entire book.
But as the movie progresses, the line between the "real" world and how Charles Kaufmann is beginning to reimagine Orlean's relationship with The Orchid Thief (La Rouche is his name). But there is never a clear demarcation showing when this spin into fantasy land is starting. But Orlean's adventures become more and more outrageous (an affair with LaRouche, drug use, etc.) that are blatant fictions.
And why does Charles fabricate fictional plot twists for his non-fiction screenplay. First, because his brother Donald has just out of the blue written a non-sensical action movie that has yield him a big contract and because Charles has attended (unwillingly) a screenwriting workshop and has clearly been influenced by all the "formula" he's being exhorted to incorporate into his work. His screenplay starts out as an exploration of the simple joy of loving flowers and becomes a silly action-flick.
But what's so fun about ADAPTATION is that we get to experience not only Charles difficulty in imagining a screenplay adaptation of THE ORCHID THIEF, but we get to SEE the story play out alongside it. It's three movies in one: the telling of the story of THE ORCHID THIEF, as written by Susan Orlean [by the way, there is one scene, not fiction, where LaRoche and his family are in a car accident that changes his life. It's undeniably one of the most gut-wrenchingly realistic car crashes ever put on screen. 10 seconds of film seared into your mind forever.], the telling of how a screenwriter named Charles Kaufman couldn't come up with a way to adapt the book and a totally fictional story of THE ORCHID THIEF and the screenwriter's twin brother. But they are totally intertwined. It sounds confusing, but the joy of this piece also lies in how clearly we follow it. At least, a halfway intelligent and attentive viewer will follow. This is not a wacky, slapstick movie. It's clever, smart and totally original. It's also very adult, and is meant for film viewers with some experience with watching and appreciating film.
Let me also say that Nicolas Cage gives one of his two or three best performances of all time (Oscar nominated). Meryl Streep (Oscar nominated) is sheer delight, reminding us that she must not be taken for granted...that she is totally able to play a real, flesh and blood American woman with no accent, and make her completely delightful. Chris Cooper deserved his Oscar win for his daring performance, which mixes lunacy and tragedy into one unique character. Everyone else gives very able support, especially Brian Cox as the screenwriting workshop leader. Here's a guy who simply cannot give less than a commanding performance, however small the role.
So, I very much recommend this most unique, funny, moving and well-presented film!
Quite a different kind of movie for Nicolas, BUT as always he was excellent. You never have to wonder which twin is which because Nicolas did such a masterful job of portraying both brothers. As the plot unfolds, there are many turns in the road and it keeps you guessing all the way to the end. Two thumbs up!...more info
- Great unknown....
Everyone has heard of this movie, very few people seem to have seen it. I was skeptical at first too, but I loved it.
Nicolas Cage plays two roles and nails them both. The story is confusing at first, but it all makes since in the end. Good movie, great characters, youll enjoy this film.
- Great chance that works
Gutsy, original screenplay. I love finding the powerful and productive intelligence in a person normally stereotyped as a no-nothing redneck. Another great choice by Cage, who as in Matchstick Men, has chosen an unconventional yet rewarding role.
One of the best films of the decade. ...more info
- 'it's a metaphor, stupid'
Loved this amazing movie... like so much else on the horizon, it evidences a surge, a bloom in consciousness. The synopsis is just as "brother" Donald says so simply and literally, (as if) missing the point: the bit about the way the orgami paper ball turns into a flower when it's dropped in a pitcher of water... 'it's a metaphor, stupid!' the playwright says in full exasperation. Which says everything. The mystery, the magic: how does meaning, insight, gotcha, a-Ha burst into our being? Just keep asking, and watch... watch the magician's hands.
I love the unconscious posing as twin brother. And belly-laugh at the advice he takes from McKee (we can't fight it) to finish the movie that you proceed to watch unfold before your very eyes. Damn, but didn't that paper ball turn into a flower?
INT. BAR - NIGHT Kaufman and McKee sit at a table with beers. Kaufman reads from his copy of The Orchid Thief.
... We followed it like a beacon all the way to the road.
Kaufman closes the book. There's a pause.
Then what happens?
That's the book. I wanted to present it simply, without big character arcs or sensationalizing the story. I wanted to show flowers as God's miracles. I wanted to show that Orlean never saw the blooming ghost orchid.* It's about disappointment.
I see. That's not a movie. You must go back and put in the drama.
I've got pages of false starts and wrong approaches. I'm way past my deadline. I can't go back.
Ah, the everpresent deadline. Yes, I was doing a Kojak once and... it was hell.
McKee sips his beer, eyes Kaufman.
Tell you a secret. The last act makes the film. You can have an uninvolving, tedious movie, but wow them at the end, and you've got a hit. Find an ending. Use what you've learned this weekend. Give them that and you'll be fine.
Tears form in Kaufman's eyes.
McKee smiles. Kaufman hugs him.
*note: a libretto that plays on The Epic of Gilgamesh
- Three Authors in Search of a Character
Any piece of writing about a writer -- and particularly about a writer suffering from writer's block -- runs the risk of self-indulgence.
ADAPTATION avoids this fate -- barely -- because Charlie Kaufman has the good sense to balance his writer with two others, each a corrective to Serious Authorhood and its anguished self-importance. Susan Orlean shows the possibility of a productive, uncompromised professionalism, while Donald -- Charlie's easygoing twin -- delivers the film's epiphanic message: that what matters is not who loves you, but who and what you love.
The sentence may sound trite, at first, but it suits the psyche of the writer -- who wants to please, after all, not just critics and the public, but a ruthless tribunal made up of dead predecessors....more info
- Strangest adaptation ever. Don't miss it.
This is really clever, and really funny. Smartly funny, though, so pay attention while watching! What's really cool is that when this movie degenerates into a mindless action fest in its last act or so, instead of getting disgusted you laugh out loud. That is, you laugh if you get the joke. The joke being that this movie is two things: 1) an offbeat comic piece about a neurotic screenwriter tring to adapt into a film a basically non-adaptable book (a rumination on orchids, no less!), and 2) the actual end result of the screenwriter's attempts to try ANYTHING to deliver his screenplay on deadline (in other words, the movie we're seeing is the one our screenwriter friend finally wrote, complete with all the cheesy by-the-numbers action cliches he reluctantly added to the mix to get the darn thing to hold together). Other metaphors and themes abound, too, often touching on (surprise, surprise) the role of adaptation in life in order to survive and and get ahead. Finally, Cage, Cooper, and Streep are all great here, delivering naturalistic performances that nevertheless result in striking, original characters. ...more info
- The Amazing Peebs
I quite simply loved this movie it is perfect and unique and every time i watch it i see more and more of its beauty...more info
- Briliant, but not completely original.
This is a must see for movie lovers. Although not completely original it still deserves 5 stars for being unique in its own way. Other films that incorporate the writer's real life with the story being told have been done before, most notably Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry" and to some extend "Purple Rose Of Cairo," but also "Delirious" staring John Candy, and probably more. Despite that, I still love this film and the journey Kaufman takes the audience of his struggle to write this movie....more info
- Adaptation Finds It's Niche!
This movie weaves a yarn that constantly unravels and recoils. The plot of this movie Adaptation is that the main character, Charlie Kaufman, played by Nicholas Cage, is a disenchanted screenwriter...(Ironically this piece is directed by Charlie Kaufman...Screen writer extroidinaire...) Who falls upon a book, The Orchid Thief and must write a screenplay about it. Kaufman wants to write something untainted by pretentiousness and just about "flowers". As he begins the sweeping tale he plummets deeper into the world of the authoress of the Orchid Thief and her discontent...So deeply that He can no longer discern the difference between reality and fiction which are lost in between the lines and the type writer keys. Where does his story end and her's begin? What is real and what is fictional?
This movie, as with all of Kaufman's endeavors, saliently sweeps the viewer into the strange and dark crevices of the human mind. His understanding of stream of consciousness thinking and patterns thereof are completely incredible. His dark comedies are very funny as well as very intelligent...This movie has humor, wit and suspense!...more info
- What took me so long?
I loved Being John Malkovich and so I don't know why it took me so long to see this wonderful movie. Adaptation is hard to put into words, but it was done by the same director (Spike Jonze) and same screenwriter (Charlie Kaufman). Kaufman also wrote Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind, which I liked, but did not love, like BJM and Adaptation. Maybe b/c it had Carrey in a more serious role, which I do not like as much as his comedic roles. This is the kind of movie that makes you want to find out more, and more and more. Like how much of the movie is true based on Susan Orlean's book The Orchid Thief? How much is based on Kaufman's real life? I now want to read The Orchid Thief and find out more about everyone involved, especially Charlie Kaufman. Meryl Streep and Nicholas Cage do a superb acting job, as well as, Chris Cooper as John Laroche. If you liked BJM you will love this movie. If you didn't like it or didn't get it, don't bother with this one. Also, if you liked Eternal Sunshine, you will probably also like it, and if you haven't seen any, I would start with BJM, and then either Eternal or Adaptation. But definately watch BJM before this movie. This is an excellent movie to watch over and over and get some of the subtle nuances, also I highly recommend watching it with someone so you can discuss afterwards. Unfortunately, my husband hated BJM so I watched this alone, and now need to talk to my friends who have seen it!
- Kaufman at his worst.
I find it funny that someone almost one an oscar for a film about a writer's "lack of talent". Kaufman was assigned to write a movie about Susan Orlean's "The Orchid Thief", but instead he came up with a biography of himself and his failure to make an adaptation of the book. This isn't a film it's a documentary of Kaufman's failure to screenwrite....more info
- Way Above Average
Ok, so this is inside baseball, Hollywood-style, with the script merging with the mind of the script-writer. It's still very entertaining stuff, especially the voice-overs by the nervous Cage character. Cage's double-lead is exceptionally well done. Literate stuff, and only one or two gunshots and a couple of violent car accidents. Not bad for Hollywood....more info
- Most Original Movie I've Ever Seen
To say the least, Charlie Kaufman's "Adaptation" is the most original movie I've ever seen. It is at once an adaptation of Susan Orlean's book The Orchid Thief, a bio pic, a reflection on Kaufman's (played by Cage) many tries at writing said adaptation, and a dissection of film conventions. The busy narrative, which shifts back and forth in time, calls for the full attention of the audience. It's an engaging film that will keep the wheels turning in your head long after the final credits roll.
Spike Jonze does beautiful work with Kaufman's considerably hard to film script, showing deep understanding of the script. Nicholas Cage gives a career defining performance as both Charlie and Doug Kaufman (Charlie's fictional brother), evoking more emotions than I thought the man was capable of. Meryl Streep is great here as well, but my choice for the best supporting actor has to go to Chris Cooper, who gave a strange, sometimes scary, and always heartbreaking performance as John LaRoche, who is as much the tragic hero of this tale as Kaufman. If you're looking for an intelligent film with an engaging and innovative screenplay, skillful direction, and a talented cast, "Adaptation" will easily exceed all your expectations.
To put it simply, "Adaptation" is a movie about Kaufman trying to write "Adaptation." It's mind blowing, wholly original, and probably one of the most intelligently written films of all time.
10/10 Classic....more info
- it was okay
some parts of it were funny. i fell asleep so i had to watch it in two separate viewings. a different "tradition of storytelling."...more info
- Strange and Unique
The words strange and unique are probably the best words that one can use to describe this film in the most simplistic of terms, but the truth of the matter is that this movie is anything but simplistic, melding real characters into screen characters into book characters into actors, to create one of the most surreal motion picture experiences....more info
- You don't have to be dumb to hate this one.
I guess if you think you're smart and an extreme film buff, then you could go with the flow of critics and give this one 5 stars, but if you're looking for anything even remotely entertaining as "Being John Malchovich", then you will be sorely sorry you decided on this piece of fluff.
The story moves at a snails pace, the acting is sub-par(Don't even know why Chris Cooper got an Oscar) and the only chemistry going for it, is Nicolas Cage playing off of...Nicolas Cage.
It's not as smart or intellectually stimulating as "Malchovich", and I know it's not the same movie, but when you have the same director and writer, you do expect something close to being as original and funny as "Being John".
Skip it, you won't miss anything in this over-hyped and uninteresting film....more info
- Adapt to this movie
This movie is brilliant. I love what Charlie has done with the story. It's very imaginative, unique strange and that's what I love about writing. the weirder the better. He wrote fictional and real people into one story. What is on his mind I say. It seems the strangest people write the best, in my opinion. The stranger they are the more amazing their writing will be. Anyways, this movie might confuse you at first, but after a second look you'll get it, I hope.
For some reason they chose him to write a screenplay about this flower book by some Susan lady, in the end how can this be an exciting film, wheres the drama and suspense and everything else films have, well he wrote himself into the film, came up with his own hollywood ending that covered the drama and big ending every movie tends to have. My theory is that he didn't know how to end the story, to make it pleasable to an audience since the book didn't have an exciting enough ending, so he went into his strange little brain and came up with this. Enjoy! Confused yet? Well how about I talk about squirels and how they came from outer space. Adaptation is a heck of a strange piece of film, beautiful acting, wild story telling and even a fictional character that actually got nominated for a real oscar, now that's funny, were they clueless or just trying to be funny. Quite the funny trick.
Also check out Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind(Jim Carrey at his best, even though it's not really a comedy). Want another bizarre film by another creative writer?? Check out Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love(The only true brilliant Adam Sandler movie, then again it wasn't him that stole the show it was the amazing unique out of this world writing with Sandlers best performance that did). ...more info
Adaptation was a highly lauded film, critically, but nowhere near a great film. Yes, Chris Cooper won an Oscar for his turn as botanist John LaRoche, & it is a good performance until the film tanks, as well as his acting. Again, it's no defense to claim the screenplay or director wanted deliberately bad, hammy, over-the-top acting. Anyone who's seen CC in earlier roles in John Sayles films such as Matewan or Lone Star knows he is 1 of the best actors of our times. Adaptation is not in a league with either of those 2 performances. Anyway, here's the basic pr¨¦cis of the film: The L.A. screenwriter of the film Being John Malkovich- Charlie Kaufman (played by Nicolas Cage)- is having trouble adapting the next film assignment he's been given. The book is a non-fiction best-seller called The Orchid Thief, written by a Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep)- a writer for The New Yorker- about an oddball character, who is obsessed with orchids, she was sent to profile for a magazine piece. This is CC's LaRoche character. The book (a real book, by the way) proves difficult to adapt- for both its substance & its style. So the fictional CK character is stuck. Now, here's the 1st twist: the real CK, who wrote the actual film, decided to create a fictional twin brother for the fictional version of himself. This character is Donald Kaufman (also played by Nicolas Cage). Here's where the 1st problems with the film arises- & it's not about Post-Modernism, but then the film exploits every known clich¨¦ about writers & twins. CK has writer's block, & suffers, & is an outcast, filled with angst, & a putz around pretty women. His brother is his near exact opposite- smooth, witty, uncreative, not-too bright, yet he tries to mimic his brother by becoming a screenwriter & working on the text for a dull slasher film. CK, of course, disdains & looks down upon DK.
Of course, the rest of the film follows a pretty predictable track, even as it intercuts between the artistic dilemmas of the 2 brothers, CK's going to a screenwriting guru (at DK's behest), & the presumed `real' tale of John LaRoche & SO's profiling of him. Predictability sets in when CK's artistic paralysis increases, DK's screenplay is lauded as brilliant by CK's agent & he gets a huge advance, then CK turns to his brother for advice on how to finish his adaptation of The Orchid Thief. DK ends up going to interview SO about the book, posing as CK- who requested it. DK suspects that SO is a liar & hiding her true feelings for JL. This is where the film really tanks- what happens next is so predictable I feel almost foolish extrapolating- but here goes: this is where DK's `influence' on the real `outer' screenplay is felt. De facto- this is where the real Charlie Kaufman (not the NC version) felt he could slack off, & indulge all his worst instincts & fob off the film's failings on the Post-Modernist crutch. Let me chart the precipitous plunge. Basically, SO & JL turn out to be drug-addled lovers who capture the spying CK (who's followed SO to Florida with his brother to see what she's up to). They plan to murder him & dump him in the swamps where JL went hunting orchids. DK, of course, kiboshes the plan & both twins become the hunted. DK ends up dead, along with JL, & CK heads back to L.A. for the film's denouement, to explain lessons learned. The fictive DK is credited as co-writer & the film even ends with a memorial dedication to the dead fictive writer.
Here is where the film's advocates declaim its brilliance- that the film is actually mocking predictability by being predictable because, of course, this was the fictional DK's influence. That the real film does not tell us more about the interesting characters from the actual book is glossed over in favor of the real CK's presumption of his own (or his fictive self's) interestingness is treated as some artistic breakthrough, when it's really an infantile throwback to the `art' films of the 1960s & 1970s. The best performance in the film actually comes from perpetually underrated standout actor Brian Cox, as the screenwriting guru Robert McKee who inspires DK, then CK. There are the obligatory star cameos by actors from Being John Malkovich playing themselves- including director Spike Jonze, John Malkovich, Catherine Keener, John Cusack, & the real Susan Orlean playing a woman in a grocery store....more info
- I lost interest halfway through.
Adaptation had my attention until the strange and boring second half. The only thing I liked about this dark comedy was Nicholas Cage and Chris Cooper, they are the two finest actors around. Meryl Streep wasn't designed for this type of role, she overacts sometimes. I cannot even explain the plot, it is so confusing. I was expecting greatness, jeez Spike Jones is out of his freakin' mind! Don't waste your money on this lackluster comedy....more info
- 3.5 stars out of 4
The Bottom Line:
Adaptation is a movie that gets more and more witty and entertaining the more you think about it; while some of the reviewers on the site seem to indicate they found the movie too clever by half, you may rest assured that this movie is just clever enough. ...more info
- A great film by Charlie Kaufman...so what's new?
This movie is absolutely great. It has great humor, action, and drama...not to mention, Nicholas Cage is actually good in it. Yes, the same Nicholas Cage guilty of having the worst fake accent EVER (in Con-Air) is really believable (and funny, in the case of Donald Kaufman) in this movie. The rest of the cast is also great, and the script is just plain brilliant. You can tell Kaufman had fun writing this one, and it is a hell of a lot of fun to watch....more info
- Adaptation is no Being John Malkovich
Although from the minds behind Being John Malkovich, Adaptation is long, drawn-out, and moves too slowly. The movie's title is a reference to evolution, to organisms adapting. The beginning features a montage of life evolving on Earth. Even Charles Darwin appears in this film. Only Nicholas Cage's wonderful performance (as two people) saves the movie. Charlie Kaufman (Nicholas Cage) is one of the most pathetic characters to ever appear on the screen. Even though he wrote the screenplay for Being John Malkovich, he sweats profusely and his self-depracating thoughts run in constant voiceover. In need of a good self-help book on self esteem, Charlie is trying to adapt a book called The Orchid Thief to a screenplay. Charlie is under a lot of pressure as he is way past his deadline. Distracting him are his annoying twin brother Donald (also Cage), who is a wanna-be screenwriter, and a girl whom Charlie loves, but can't bring himself to tell her.
Meryl Streep plays Susan, the book's author, a writer for the New Yorker. Her plaintive book about tormented orchid hunter John Roche(Chris Cooper) is non-fiction, and Charlie adamantly does not want to add lots of car chases, sex, or even conflict and change. He just wants to write a story about flowers.
The movie progresses, but Charlie doesn't. He is stagnant, frozen in fear and self-loathing. The last thirty minutes of the movie explodes in plot twists and action, but by then you are wishing this movie had evolved slightly faster than mankind.
This movie piqued my interest in orchids. I plan to research them, maybe even treat myself to one. The opening and ending credits music is creepy, different, and perfect for this film....more info
- It was a lot better than the preview on youtube.
Very interesting film, one might think through out most of the first portion of the movie that Charlies character has some sort of disease where he see's another version of himself, but that's what I thought because I over analyzed it. It really is just his twin brother. So overall, it was good, and totally worth the $3 I spent renting it....more info