Review: 'Synecdoche, New York'

A great incomprehensible phantasmagoria of a film written by Charlie Kaufman and set in a New York warehouse.

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    Emily Watson, Samantha Morton, PhilipSeymour Hoffman, and Tom Noonan (left to right) star in this surreal comedyabout a director who stages an ensemble show in a New York warehouse.
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I'm a big fan of the films Charlie Kaufman wrote for director Spike Jonze, "Being John Malkovich" and "Adaptation," so I was looking forward to his directorial debut, even though its title did not bode well. "Synecdoche, New York" is about – well, I'm not sure what it's about. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a director with a mysterious wasting disease who mounts regional theater productions in Schenectady, N.Y. His wife (Catherine Keener), with their daughter in tow, has left him to become a painter in Berlin. He responds by staging an ensemble show in a New York warehouse that is equal parts Brecht and Barnum & Bailey. The result is a great big incomprehensible phantasmagoria. I'm all for "personal" movies, but this one's private. Grade: D (Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity.)

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