Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York

(2008)

Maverick screenwriter Charlie Kaufman makes his directorial debut with this ambitious story of a man's struggle to comprehend his own existence. ... More

Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Caden, a troubled theatre director who creates an alternative New York inside a warehouse, then finds out that his autonomic functions are failing one-by-one (his body loses the ability to react to threats). Also features a stacked female ensemble including Catherine Keener, Michelle Williams. Samantha Morton and Jennifer Jason Leigh as the various women in his rapidly imploding life.

FYI, 'Synecdoche' is defined as "a figure of speech in which a term denoting a part of something is used to refer to the whole thing, or a whole thing is used to refer to a part of it" . For example, one might say "I have a new set of wheels", meaning "I have a new car". Or, "use your head", meaning "use your brain". It's pronounced sih-neck-doh-kee.Hide

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Flicks Review

It's not for everyone, due to long frustrating periods of metaphysical confusion, but it all has a point somewhere, and you can tell without a doubt that the material is personal to Kaufman. It's ambitious, totally odd, and very very gloomy. Still, there's something about it that might help us all put our sad, short little lives in perspective. 


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 4 ratings, 3 reviews
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BY JackWallace superstar

Hyped for Anomalisa, I decided to watch Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York. Roger Ebert named it the best film of the 2000s. This is a strange, wholly original film, about a lonely theatre director struggling with his work, and the relationships with the women in his life. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is amazing. Being a Kaufman film, it's extremely well written. It's not very entertaining, I still think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is Charlie Kaufman's greatest work.... More But if you think this is your sort of thing, it's worth watching. Grade: B-Hide


What this film really needs is a follow up film to describe this one as words simply will not suffice. In saying that the film is wildly ambitious, sprawling, awe-inspiring, heartbreaking, frustrating, hard-to-follow and achingly, achingly sad. Some may comment on the running time but those who are truly passionate about cinema will not be worried about this in the slightest.


BY John2 superstar

Vanity and ego should plague the genius behind Eternal Sunshine of teh Spotless Mind and clearly it has taken over. I sat through this torturous butt and mind numbing 2 hours and 4 minutes in Austin Texas and then listened to an audience ask the great man questions. When he was kind of asked why. he kind of had no answer. If your butt comfort needs testing and you want to see how quickly you can nod off in a cinema, this is a 5 star must see. Oh, and I should admit, for look, this is an amazing... More piece of stylishness...just a shame about the narrative happening in front of the sets and green screens.Hide


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The Press Reviews

69% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • It is a sprawling, ambitious and very long look at so many things, it's almost a miracle he was able to wrap it up in just two hours. And yet, for a film that is principally about death, the conclusion is surprisingly life-affirming, especially coming from Kaufman. Full Review

  • Will mesmerize some and mystify others, while many will be bored silly. It's not a dream, Kaufman says, but it has a dreamlike quality, and those won over by its otherworldly jigsaw puzzle of duplicated characters, multiple environments and shifting time frames will dissect it endlessly. Full Review

  • To say that Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York is one of the best films of the year or even one closest to my heart is such a pathetic response to its soaring ambition that I might as well pack it in right now. Full Review

  • At turns as neurotic and nebbishy as any Woody Allen flick, as creepy and disorienting as your favorite "Twilight Zone" episode, and as steeped in magical realism as the most moving Márquez novel, Synecdoche may not be the feel-good date movie of the year. But for viewers up for the challenge, it may be the film most likely to stick with you. Full Review

  • No film with an ambition this large, and achievement this impressive, can be anything but exhilarating, a vital affirmation of the creative process. Full Review

  • A wildly ambitious and gravely serious contemplation of life, love, art, human decay and death, the film bears Kaufman’s scripting fingerprints in its structural trickery and multiplane storytelling. Full Review