AdaptationDirector: Spike Jonze, Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper
The creative team behind Being John Malkovich -- director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman -- return with this equally offbeat comedy, in which Kaufman himself becomes the leading character. Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) is a gifted but profoundly neurotic screenwriter who, after the success of Being John Malkovich, has been hired to write a script adapted from the nonfiction book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean. But while Charlie is obsessive about his work, he's also intensely paranoid, given to deep depression, socially inept, and terrified of talking to women, qualities which are making it difficult to get on with his work or hold on to his tenuous relationship with girlfriend Amelia (Cara Seymour). Meanwhile, Charlie's identical twin brother, Donald Kaufman (also played by Cage), has shown up to move in with his brother. Emotionally, Donald is Charlie's polar opposite -- a loudmouthed, over-confident, superficial party animal who has an easy way with the ladies. Donald has decided to follow his brother's footsteps and take up screenwriting as well, but embracing the dictates of screenwriting tutor Robert McKee (Brian Cox), he's cranking out a cliché-ridden serial-killer thriller when not busy making time with new girlfriend Caroline (Maggie Gyllenhaal). As Donald blazes through his screenplay, Charlie slowly picks away at his story, in which author Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep) chronicles John Laroche (Chris Cooper), a scruffy but devoted plant enthusiast who tries to save rare species of orchids by stealing them from their natural home in the swamps of Florida. As John and Susan become better acquainted, they find themselves attracted to one another; similarly, Charlie finds himself increasingly fascinated with Susan, and finds himself falling in love with her, even though he's only seen her photo on the dust jacket of her book. Charlie arranges to meet Susan, but is too nervous to confront her face to face, so he sends Donald (who has just scored a seven-figure deal for his script) in his place, while he attends a screenwriting seminar held by McKee. Adaptation also features Tilda Swinton, Judy Greer, and Stephen Tobolowsky.
Screenwriting this smart, inventive, passionate and rip-roaringly funny is a rare species. It's magic.
What a bewilderingly brilliant and entertaining movie this is.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Image Entertainment
- Region Code:
- [Wide Screen]
- [DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
- Sales rank:
Cast & Crew
|Nicolas Cage||Charlie Kaufman,Donald Kaufman|
|Meryl Streep||Susan Orlean|
|Chris Cooper||John Laroche|
|Brian Cox||Robert McKee|
|Judy Greer||Alice the Waitress|
|Jay Tavare||Matthew Osceola|
|Peter Jason||Defense Attorney|
|Curtis Hanson||Orlean's Husband|
|Peter Andrus||Art Director|
|KK Barrett||Production Designer|
|Richard Beggs||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Carter Burwell||Score Composer|
|Gray Matter FX||Special Effects|
|Charlie Kaufman||Executive Producer,Screenwriter|
|Drew Kunin||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Ann Roth||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Peter Saraf||Executive Producer|
|Gene Serdena||Set Decoration/Design|
|Thomas Patrick Smith||Asst. Director|
|Casey Storm||Costumes/Costume Designer|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I liked the Movie, but in my opinion the acting of Nicolas Cage was a distration. The twins felt like they were the same person. I almost couldn't tell when one started and the other ended. Still I like the story.
Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) is trying to adapt the book The Orchid Thief from Susan Orleans (Meryl Streep) about John La Roche (Chris Cooper) who goes to various places in Miami to find orchids to cultivate, but doesn't want to add much to the actual story. Because of this he's having a hard time adapting the book to movie form. He's also living with his brother Donald (Nicolas Cage) who has decided that he will become a screenwriter and is working on a screenplay about serial killers called "The Three". Charlie Kaufman (yes, that's a real person) is a brilliant screenwriter. Having written the little seen Human Nature, the quirky Being John Malkovich, and the critically acclaimed and brilliant Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Charlie was trying to come up with something new with his adaptation of Susan Orleans' book The Orchid Thief. He was having a very difficult time with adapting the book the way he wanted, but eventually came up with this idea to meld real life with fiction with a little help from his (fictional) brother, Donald Kaufman (who also earned a co-screenwriting credit). Adaptation is a brilliant film, as are most of Kaufman's works, melding together his real world works at adapting The Orchid Thief with the fictional account seemlessly. Throughout the film you get that this is a true story, especially when you review to realize that the character names are names of real people (with very few exceptions, such as Donald Kaufman), and then at the end, once you realize that this is a work of fiction, you can still see the work of Donald Kaufman on the film as if Charlie was channeling the character's ambitions in an effort to figure out how to end the movie. Naturally, in the end, when you find out more about the movie this only works to the story's advantage. Nicolas Cage isn't typically the actor that you'd look to to portray a character like this, or I should say, character's like this. Charlie and Donald are two totally different characters with separate sensibilities, but Nic plays them with amazing affinity for the shortcomings and strengths of the characters. Naturally, Oscar winning actress Meryl Streep throws herself fully into the game as always, and you also have a dose of the amazing Brian Cox, which is always worth noting. Chris Cooper as the eccentric orchid thief John La Roche steals the show though. This is a movie that I have to highly recommend. It's funny and stylish but doesn't lose it's focus on story and character building. The movie does a great job at remaining faithful to the material Charlie was originally trying to adapt by focusing some of the attention and narration on passages of the book, while also remaining entertaining, especially in the relationship between the two brothers. I only wish more screenwriters could be as inventive as Charlie Kaufman. 4.5/5
Sick of the twin cliche movies? The evil twin? The long-lost twin? Enjoy this journey through the mind, eye and brilliant directing by Jonze and all-star performances by Cage, Streep and Cooper. As a twin, I was blown away by Kaufman's (or is it The Kaufmans?) script. This is a classic for all wanna-be screenwriters.
This movie is so great. Not only is it the most clever movie I have ever seen, it is just plain hilarious. Nicolas Cage is awesome as both Charlie and Donald. Meryl Streep deserves an Oscar for her work, and Chris Cooper is phenomenal. Chris Cooper is just so outstanding, he makes the movie great.
It's easy to dismiss this movie as a whiny attempt to promote the screenwriter's art as a "REAL" art, wrapped up in a pretentious, self-referential coating that will be lauded by people who use the suffix "meta-" and words like "recursive"... so that's what I'm going to do.
Being a lover of all of life's beauty, i could not let that aspect of the film leave my mind!!!! At the same time, i was taken on one of the most brilliantly scripted film's i have ever seen indeed!!!!!