Adaptation
List Price: $8.99

Our Price: $8.99

You Save:

 


Customer Reviews:

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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'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.
    KAUFMAN

    ... We followed it like a beacon all the way to the road.

    Kaufman closes the book. There's a pause.

    MCKEE

    Then what happens?

    KAUFMAN

    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.

    MCKEE

    I see. That's not a movie. You must go back and put in the drama.

    KAUFMAN

    (pause)

    I've got pages of false starts and wrong approaches. I'm way past my deadline. I can't go back.

    MCKEE

    Ah, the everpresent deadline. Yes, I was doing a Kojak once and... it was hell.

    McKee sips his beer, eyes Kaufman.

    MCKEE (cont'd)

    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.

    KAUFMAN

    You promise?

    McKee smiles. Kaufman hugs him.

    ---------

    *note: a libretto that plays on The Epic of Gilgamesh
    ...more info
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • "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
  • 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
  • Iraqi writer living in Los Angeles from 2002
    For arabic readers , you can read my review of this great movie in my page :
    http://www.rezgar.com/m.asp?i=435...more info
  • Brilliant??
    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
  • 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
  • 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!
    ...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
  • 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!
    ...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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • in a league of its own
    Original and breathtaking!

    The subject of the story is less important because when it's taken to this level of creativity, it's cinema.

    The opening sequence is outrageous without losing focus, it is a movie unto itself and it's part of what the movie is about; evolution.

    The scenes with Nicolas Cage are funny and neurotic, infused with irony, frustration and the madness of a struggling artist and Meryl Streep is not a supporting character but a presence.

    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; a movie is a movie, not life or maybe he's reminding us that this is the price of commercialism? In the end he allows Cage's character to have a little fun and forget perfection. And why did he do all this?

    I believe he wanted to remind us, he is the creator and 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 get 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
  • A movie without a script
    This is the story of how to write a screenplay from a book without a story. It is a desperate and obsessive research of emotions, of meanings, of love in the documentary "The Orchid Thief" that corresponds to an intimate research of itself that will culminate in the complete fusion between the story he is writing and his own life.
    This movie should be just about flowers and nothing else, Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) says but it became a movie about its own script. It is original and explore the creativity of an artist....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 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
  • Mediocre
    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Smart, entertaining and about as original as they come; I can't see how anyone could be disappointed...
    A big reason why I think I love `Adaptation' so much is the mere fact that I thought I was going to hate it. Aside from Meryl Streep, who is unarguably a goddess of film, there really isn't anyone in the cast who draws me, and Nicolas Cage in my humble opinion is a terrible actor. So, it's safe to say that my expectations for this film were very low and so when the film grabbed me by the collar and drew me in for it's entirety I was blown away by my response to it. `Adaptation' truly is a brilliant film. It's witty, quirky, funny, engrossing and, above all else, truly original.

    The film revolves around screenwriter Charlie Kaufman as he attempts to adapt a non-fiction novel for the screen, a novel that upon reading he discovers is unadaptable. This novel, entitled `The Orchid Thief', is somewhat plotless and ultimately boring. While the idea and or proposition was flattering the task is proving to be a much bigger one then Charlie had initially intended. But Charlie has more than just this one problem in his lap. Charlie's twin brother has suffered a sudden serge of writers fever and his apparent niche for the profession is driving Charlie mad. As Charlie battles himself over how to proceed with the script we see in flashbacks the writer Susan Orlean as she meets and falls deeply in love the `the orchid thief' himself John Laroche.

    This film is truly an actor's showcase with everyone in the cast taking a hold of their character and fleshing them out beautifully. Chris Cooper is fantastic as the eccentric Laroche and Meryl Streep is her usual brilliance, but this time raising the bar so-to-speak. Her performance as Susan Orlean is deliciously orgasmic. She's stunning, heartbreaking, impish and completely insane, all within seconds of one another and they all mesh so well with the character she's created. She becomes the focus of our attention, especially as the film draws to a close.

    Nicolas Cage though is undoubtedly the star of this film and he delivers more than I ever thought he would. I personally find Cage to be a bore of an actor who rarely ever sells it. I've found him intriguing in a few films but never to the magnitude that is `Adaptation'. Here, playing two completely different characters, he is able to distinguish them as separate while still building a foundation of similarity to classify them as brothers, as twins. He's reserved, quiet and agitated one minute, then outlandish, outgoing and obnoxious the next. I still am in shock at how wonderfully on point he really was here.

    Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is a brilliant writer and his films are some of the most ingenious of the bunch. I can see this happening to him, his taking `The Orchid Thief' and wondering just how he is going to make it approachable and entertaining and then it hits him and `Adaptation' is born. Coincidentally that is just what happened here for the film is based off of Kaufman's struggle to adapt this very novel. Who ever thought a movie about flowers would be this engrossing.

    I highly recommend this masterclass of a film to anyone wanting a unique and intriguing trip through the world of modern cinema. It rarely gets better than this....more info
  • Pretty bad movie, not much point to it
    This movie was a waste of time. Pointless.
    Certainly not worth seeing a second time.
    I like Nicolas Cage, but why? What was he thinking?
    Not a good career move. Boring. Bad apple. Rotten egg....more info
  • Adaptation
    A brilliant meta-narrative and hilarious spoof of Hollywood's formulaic approach to telling stories, "Adaptation" is the brainchild of Jonze and real-life writer Kaufman, who teamed earlier on "Being John Malkovich." In fact, Kaufman really was hired to adapt the Orleans book, and took a chance writing a fun, zany, highly inventive script about his neurotic inability to wedge it into a conventional plot structure. He also invented a fictitious alter ego, twin brother Donald, who despite being a noodle-brained philistine, knows how to write a crack blockbuster. Cage's sweaty, balding, uncomfortable turn in both roles is pure angst-filled genius....more info
  • An Amazing Movie
    I'm not going to waste my time giving a plot synopsis of this movie. In fact, its rather difficult to give a proper review, as this movie goes in so many different directions and has so many different themes and ideas behind it. However, unlike most movies that do this, this one doesn't fail. Quite the opposite, it succeeds in just about every aspect that it can, in my opinion. Definitely one of the best movies I've ever seen....more info
  • Watch "Being John Malkovich" first
    A follow-on to Being John Malkovich, this film also explores the nature of reality, but goes one step further and considers the nature of the creative process. As the film proceeds, the viewer is constantly exposed to comments about what is happening on the screen (e.g., "Never use voice-overs") which are amusing but also distracting. Viewers interested in the nature of the creative process, especially screenwriting, will find this technique interesting, others will find it distracting.

    In any event, rather than being a follow-on in the conventional sense, this film contains actors and sets from Malkovich, which means you will understand it better if you see the earlier film.

    Your enjoyment of the film will also be enhanced if you read The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession (Ballantine Reader's Circle) by Susan Orlean first. The film is based on, and remarkably true to, this book. The book is enjoyable in its own right, but reading it will give you a feeling for the problems faced by Charlie Kaufman in writing the screenplay.

    After appearing in "Being John Malkovich," Cameron Diaz reportedly said, "There are 14 standard plots in Hollywood. This is the 15th.", suggesting how unusual these two films are.

    But they are also different. While "Being John Malkovich" has an ending that fits the film, here the ending is contrived, which fits the overall plot but is likely to leave the average viewer dissatisfied.
    ...more info