"[30] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 67 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally positive reviews". He is married to an artist whom he finds much better at her work than he is at his. But was he, really? [35] In the 2012 Sight & Sound poll, four critics ranked it among the 10 greatest films of all time,[46] and Ebert considered the film a strong contender for his own list.

He is not even thinking for himself anymore as Millicent, who had initially played Ellen and then moved on to the role of Caden, on as well as off stage, feeds him lines and actions through the microphone.

He is advised to see an ophthalmologist, and then a neurologist, until eventually, he turns into someone who gulps down a handful of pills all at once, everyday.

Death is an important theme of the film and we see Caden decaying in front of our eyes.

"[41], The Moving Arts Film Journal ranked the film at #80 on its list of "The 100 Greatest Movies of All Time". Did you accept his death when Millicent said it out loud or did you realize it before, when you caught him losing track of time, or when you saw Sammy die, whose job was to replicate the actions of Caden? One can argue that such philosophies drive individuals towards great personal success, and through that success said individuals can turn around and provide aid of which they might not have otherwise been capable.

But it never gets an audience, and it never allows Caden the chance to prove his genius to the critics or his wife. His body starts to deteriorate. When we first meet him, Caden is doing a play that is not originally his.

In the end, when he tells Ellen’s mother that now he knows what he wants to do with the play, Millicent cues him to “die” and the story ends. It depends on how you saw him throughout the film. Laid with motifs and symbolism and outright outlandish quirks, at times, this movie leaves you with an understanding that is hard to put into words.

Caden tells Sammy that he didn’t jump that day he saw Hazel with her family, that he was stopped by someone.

© 2020 Cinemaholic Inc. All rights reserved. [44] Both Kimberly Jones and Marjorie Baumgarten of the Austin Chronicle named it the best film of the year, as did Ray Bennett of The Hollywood Reporter. The film appeared on many critics' top-ten lists of the best films of 2008. Solipsism is the belief that only one’s own mind is certain to exist; that one’s perception of reality and events is the only certainty, the only truth. It does not leave room for the understanding or concern of others. [9], On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 68% based on 187 reviews, with an average rating of 6.77/10. Synecdoche, New York is a film that concerns itself with examining solipsism, and in disposing of the harmful concept of “The Other”. Solipsism is the belief that only one’s own mind is certain to exist; that one’s perception of reality and events is the only certainty, the only truth. On the other hand, the broader Caden’s vision of the play starts to get, the more loss of control he experiences, and the worse his condition gets. As his health deteriorates, he starts working on his magnum opus of a play where he constructs a model of New York in an abandoned warehouse. He suffers from numerous physical ailments and has been growing increasingly alienated from his wife, Adele, an artist. He falls in love with Hazel as Caden and in the end, he even dies as Caden. This quest leads them on a journey that can be best described as bizarre and unconventional and extraordinary too. A year seems like a week, and his four-year-old daughter turns twelve and then dies on the brink of her adulthood. Mark Friedberg won the 2008 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Production Design. As the mockup inside the warehouse grows increasingly mimetic of the city outside, Caden continues to look for solutions to his personal crises. The movie is about how and why the stuff that happens--happens. "Originally, Sony talked to Spike Jonze and me about doing a … As he walks around the stage, we see the fall of New York, which we can’t differentiate from the real world anymore. ‘Synecdoche, New York’, like every other Charlie Kaufman movie, is a portrait of a character’s fragmented psychological state where they start to delve into the realms of philosophy, asking questions about life, death, and the reason for existence.
At the 2008 Gotham Independent Film Awards, the film tied with Vicky Cristina Barcelona for Best Ensemble Cast. Synecdoche, New York is a 2008 American postmodern comedy-drama film written and directed by Charlie Kaufman in his directorial debut. As he pushes against the limits of his personal and professional relationships, Caden lets an actress take over his role as director and takes on her previous role as Ellen, Adele's custodian. At the beginning of it, Caden says that he doesn’t know what he is doing really.

"[40] American film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote, "...it seems more like an illustration of his script than a full-fledged movie, proving how much he needs a Spike Jonze or a Michel Gondry to realize his surrealistic conceits. Schneider, K. Clinical Psychopathology. 11 min read.

You might say that it is too fantastical an idea to entertain, but doesn’t the whole thing work around that fantasy? It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman. He hits rock bottom when Adele leaves him for a new life in Berlin, taking their four-year-old daughter Olive with her. [5][6] It had a limited theatrical release in the U.S. on October 24, 2008, and was a commercial failure on its initial release.[2]. [48], In 2019, the film ranked as #7 in The 100 Best Films of the 21st Century poll conducted by The Guardian.[49]. Caden buries himself ever deeper into his magnum opus, blurring the line between reality and the world of the play by populating the cast and crew with doppelgängers. How did the dying of flowers on the body of Olive mean her death, and how did a petal fall out of her arm when she let out her last breath? The Memory Police: CK to write, Reed Morano to direct for Amazon Studios, Charlie Kaufman, Mark Kermode, and when filmmakers and critics clash, Piecing It Together checks out Eternal Sunshine, Audio: The Big Picture breaks down "Ending Things" and interviews CK, Reid.

[31] A number of critics have compared it to Federico Fellini's 1963 film 8½.

As the events unfold in the film, the stage becomes Caden’s life and this is where his drama finally comes to an end. SPOILERS AHEAD.

"[37], Negative reviews mostly called the film incomprehensible, pretentious, depressing, or self-indulgent. I've been meaning to link to this for aaaaages. Still, we have tried to break down its meaning here. As the scene fades to gray, Caden says that now he has an idea of how to do the play when the director's voice in his ear gives him his final cue: "Die. Charlie Kaufman creates a world where futility fights to coexist with function", "Vulture's Critics' Poll: The Complete Ballots", TMA’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time | The Moving Arts Film Journal, Keeping a tally of critics’ top ten movie lists in 2008, Roger Ebert's Journal: The Greatest Films of All Time, The Strangeness of Realism vs. the Realism of the Strange: Themes in, Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Synecdoche,_New_York&oldid=983680337, Films with screenplays by Charlie Kaufman, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 15 October 2020, at 16:38. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a D+ and wrote, "I gave up making heads or tails of Synecdoche, New York, but I did get one message: The compulsion to stand outside of one's life and observe it to this degree isn't the mechanism of art — it's the structure of psychosis. The warehouse in which Cotard builds his replica of New York City (a simulacrum, representation, as per the title of the work, Simulacrum) gradually becomes a synecdoche of his life, and it becomes unclear whether the events of Caden's life are being acted out on stage, or if the events of Simulacrum are being acted out in Caden's real life.

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