From the creator of Being John Malkovich, comes the story about the creator of Being John Malkovich.
Charlie Kaufman (Cage) writes the way he lives, with great difficulty. His twin brother Donald (also Cage) lives the way he writes, with foolish abandon. Susan (Streep) writes about life, but can't live it. John's (Cooper) life is a book, waiting to be adapted. One story. Four lives. A million ways it can end.
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…
Dear valued Letterboxd patrons,
Fuck off. Nicolas Cage is amazing.
That is all.
Film #1 of Driver's A-Z Project
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…
"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…
I've watched Adaptation at least three times, maybe more. Even though I don't love it, I keep coming back to it because the premise is so compelling and ambitious. This is my first time attempting to come to terms with the fact that I don't like this film very much and to figure out why. My conclusion is that I love the screenplay so much that the finished film seems to fall short in comparison.
There is admittedly a ton of brilliance on display. The choice of writer Charlie Kaufman to create a film about his experience with screenwriting was a good one, since the finished product is both intensely personal and fascinating to behold. I love that he turns…
I cant' see nothing of Kaufman without feeling a really bad envy. Fucking genius.
This movie and "Synecdoche New York" are Kaufman taking out his balls and saying "Here you have, gentlemen, enjoy them".
Right when I thought the ending was destroying the entire movie, I realized how amazingly brilliant it was. I want to be in Charlie Kaufman's head for a day (or fifteen minutes, I'm not a good puppeteer I think).
10/10 first half
0/10 second half
And yes, I know it was the point. But still.
Jonze esplora fino in fondo la sua creatività; la sceneggiatura di Kaufman invece è complessa, folle, straordinaria.
I Like 2002's Adaptation, I Like It Because I Like Nicolas Cage.
Was blown away with how great this was. Loved it.
One of the most ingenious (certainly the most meta) script ever written, paired with Cage's incredible performance, being a fan of Kaufman and all things weird I was eating this film up. Yet I can only give it four stars due to it's unfortunate third act. I won't spoil it, but the step into unreality the film takes in the last 40 minutes comes close to ruining the rest of the film. I understand why it is the way it is (especially when viewing it as a meditation of Kaufman's career trajectory) but it is such a betrayal to the rules established at the beginning of the film that it is entirely unsatisfying.
I love metafuckery so much. Perhaps not by consequence of the metafuckery itself, but I love this film; this is beautifully made metafuckery.
Despite his poor career choices, Nicolas Cage is a good actor. He's great here, where he plays the protagonist of the film - which is the screenwriter of the film - and his fictional brother, all at the same time (I was impressed). The rest of the cast is composed of consistently great actors.
Adaptation is a skillfully acted and directed, but surely what makes it so special is the bold and unique screenplay, written by Charlie Kaufman, credited to Charlie and Donald Kaufman (the fictional brother).
The third act is rather frustrating (I felt they were going in the opposite direction), but it makes a wonderful point towards adaptations.
After falling in love with this and Where The Wild Things are, I plan on watching Being John Malkovich very soon.
I thought I had seen this film before but I hadn't, at least not all the way through. I liked it but didn't love it. I though Cage (in both roles) was great but the story was just ok for me.