Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Charlie Kaufman writes the way he lives... With Great Difficulty. His Twin Brother Donald Lives the way he writes... with foolish abandon. Susan writes about life... But can't live it. John's life is a book... Waiting to be adapted. One story... Four Live
A love-lorn script writer grows increasingly desperate in his quest to adapt the book 'The Orchid Thief'.
The December Challenge: Film #110
Adaptation is a self-indulgent, solipsistic and dizzying descent into the troubled craft of creation: specifically the creation of a screenplay adaptation based on an unfilmable non-fiction novel. Just thinking about the film makes my head spin as I try and unravel Charlie Kaufman’s creative processes. Anybody who has ever tried to create art knows how difficult and fraught with self doubt it can be but to turn those personal disappointments into a work of self-reflexive brilliance demonstrates a rare and special talent.
Kaufman takes his own genuine troubles adapting Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief and creates a film that not only captures the essence of the novel but also deconstructs the complexities of the writing…
From the creator of Being John Malkovich, comes the story about the creator of Being John Malkovich. Adaptation chronicles the struggle that screenwriter Charlie Kaufman went through while adapting the book this film was supposed to be based on into a screenplay and also dramatizes the events from the source material. Written by Charlie Kaufman & directed by Spike Jonze, Adaptation is a fresh, imaginative & highly engaging work of originality on the same page as the duo's previous venture together.
Do it once & it's a fluke, do it twice & it becomes something else. And that's what both Jonze & Kaufman have pulled off here, with Kaufman coming up with a unique vision & Jonze beautifully realizing it on the film canvas, once again.…
Dear valued Letterboxd patrons,
Fuck off. Nicolas Cage is amazing.
That is all.
Charlie Kaufman: I've written myself into my screenplay.
Donald Kaufman: That's kind of weird, huh?
Yeah, kinda. Adaptation. works out in a funny old way. It works itself into itself and works its way out of itself and works its way back in where it came from. Which is back into itself. Some may even call it 'self-indulgent' and 'narcissistic'. In fact, the main character said that. About writing himself into the screenplay. The character that says this is the writer of the film itself. You could call it 'screenplayception'.
It works like this for the first two acts, until the third act where it bizarrely ventures into thriller territory. Kinda. And then it becomes about itself again.
"Sometimes this kind of story turns out to be something more. Some glimpse of life that expands like those Japanese paper balls you drop in water and they bloom in the flowers and the flower is so marvelous you can't believe there was a time that all you saw in front of you was a paper ball and a glass of water."
That pretty much sums up what I thought of this film the first time I saw it years ago. There was a time I saw a movie (or whatever the hell it is) and now I see a masterpiece.
On my first watch, I didn't have much of an opinion of it other than it was... "strange". I…
I’m passionate about writing. From a very young age, I loved nothing more than putting pen to paper and scrawling out stories about a whole manner of themes and events. As a child I wrote about serial killers (I had an entire series planned, based on the Halloween films, called Surrogacy, in which a woman becomes a surrogate, gives the child away for money and then, years later, the messed-up child hunts her down and tries to kill her and her new family… yes, I was a fucked-up ten year old. I also had one called Birthday Boy which was exactly the same, except the child had died and been resurrected by demons or something. Definitely a weirdo...) and…
Smart,funny and excellently written Spike Jonze directs Nicolas Cage to one of his best performances of his career.
Bananas. A big pile of mashed bananas. A very strange, wandering story but it never feels stupid. Kaufman and Jonze relish in smartly deconstructing stories and exploring the creative process of writing and of being a human being. Nicolas Cage is great here and the clever photography to make him two people works insanely well. Definitely one I'm going to revisit time and time again.
Wow. Instant favourite.
I didn't think I could ever experience something as bizarrely convoluted as Spike Jonze's Being John Malkovich. As a whole I've leaned more toward "weirded out" than "inspired" by Jonze's famously outlandish work (particularly by his latest film, Her). Adaptation changed everything.
Adaptation is centred around Charlie Kaufman, a writer for Being John Malkovich. Charlie, played by the predictably fantastic Nicolas Cage, struggles to write a screenplay (which turns out to be Adaptation) based on a book called The Orchid Thief (Yes,Adaptation is literally about the creation of Adaptation). Charlie has a twin brother, Donald (also played by Cage), who at first seems to be the embodiment of Charlie's blithering, untalented side. They are, in fact, two…
Can't believe I hadn't heard of this or seen this before now. One of the best movies I've seen in a long time.
Leave to Charlie Kaufman to come up with a script this unique and clever.
Adaptation is unlike any movie I've ever seen before. Kaufman, who writes himself as the main character (both in the real world script and in the movie itself), is a writer who is struggling to write a script for an adaptation of the Orchid Thief, a novel.
In the real production of the film, Kaufman suffered from writer's block when he was hired to write an actual adaptation for the Orchid Thief. When you wrap your mind around all of it, the setup for Adaptation is genius.
Nicolas Cage's performance(s) is just great. His reputation isn't all that great, but he has had some really standout…
never seen a film like this and I struggled to get my head around it the first time. definitely worth the watch and I don't know how anyone can say Nicolas Cage is a shit actor
«Adaptation is a profound process. Means you figure out how to thrive in the world.»
Charlie Kaufman’s script is just bursting with ideas and originality. “Adaptation” is a movie about the making of “Adaptation” – the two entities are actually one. The irony of the whole thing is that it actually makes perfect sense, in its own flawlessly twisted little way.
Never mind that – this film is a load of fun to watch, from the performances by Nicolas Cage (doing his best work in years) to the tongue-in-cheek stabs at Hollywood. Hey, we love chucking the conventional ways of screenwriting, but at the same time, we embrace it.
Spike Jonze is an amazing visionary and when he’s teamed with Charlie Kaufman, you know you’re in for a treat.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!