Dan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Watched in preparation for I’m Thinking of Ending Things...
Honestly one of the best directorial debuts I can think of, and Kaufman is a brilliant writer with a truly distinctive voice.
With that being said, this is one of those films (as are most of Kaufman’s work for me except Eternal Sunshine) that I have to admire more than I can actually enjoy it. In fact, Synecdoche, New York kinda depressed the living hell outta me. I watched it late at night and when it finished, I woke my girlfriend up to tell her how much I love her... yeah.
I get that’s kind of the point and it’s a very existential film which makes you feel infinitesimal, and any art that can make you feel that way is obviously doing something right as it must have moved you a tremendous amount just to even get to that point, but it doesn’t change the fact that I finished this film thinking ‘that was great. I never want to watch it again’.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of the greatest actors of all time and I’m excited to see how Cooper does in PTA’s next project. I think partly what made PSH so great was the fact that he just... was. He didn’t go big, he wasn’t showy, you just bought him as whoever he was supposed to be. He was seamless. Almost invisible. Which leads perfectly into one of the key themes of the film: the notion that you don’t matter. The notion that you can make yourself matter through your work... or possibly not. What does it even mean to matter? What does it mean not to? Does the fact that you don’t matter even matter?
There’s so much going on thematically in this movie that I don’t think you could possibly get everything out of it from just one watch. It also presents a lot of questions that aren’t necessarily answered, and I say that as a positive. The filmmakers want you to do some digging and come up with your own answers, which I respect. It also means that 10 different people could have 10 different experiences with this film.
I don’t wanna get too much into it for exactly that reason. If the filmmakers aren’t going to answer the questions posed, who am I to attempt it? (Other than to answer them in relation to myself of course). But I’m not going to talk about what everything “meant” as I think a lot of it is subjective and open to interpretation.
All I’ll say is, I have high expectations for Thinking, but I’m expecting to do some of my own afterwards.
While I’m here, if you like my musings, follow my more personal account on here at DanFelixHobson. It’ll be a little less formal over there and I’ll be talking more about movies that I’m watching in general rather than focusing mostly on new releases. I also won’t be plugging the channel as much, if at all. Cheers x