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Aro Recommended Synecdoche, New York

 

USA 2008, 118 minutes
Dir. Charlie Kaufman
Rating: [M]
Genres: Comedy, Drama / Arts & Artists

Topics: Showbiz, Mind-bender.

 

Aroview: Screenwriting extraordinaire Charlie Kaufman turns his hand to directing for the first time with another amusing existential conundrum, here enjoying freer reign to explore his abiding obsessions with identity, creativity, and mortality.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman is great as usual (if of course typecast) as a melancholy theatre director who is given an opportunity to realize his dream project after his marriage falls apart, with artifice imitating life and vice versa to "Kaufman-esque" effect. Conceptually inspired as usual, and never short on great ideas, though the time-jumping narrative and daubs of surrealism will ambush unprepared viewers, and it arguably misses the visual gifts and complementary perspective that former collaborators Spike Jonze or Michel Gondry brought to the table. Still, orthodoxy be damned, its restless brilliance still marks it as a must for arthouse and theatre buffs - one which, like his masterpiece, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, almost demands a repeated viewing.

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