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Monday, October 17, 2011

Synecdouche, NY Phillip Seymour Hoffman Michele Williams Film Review

I'm quite sure that the film Synecdouche, NY is a masterpiece but I can not explain why.  Better put, I have never achieved the level of intelligence required to understand the brilliance of this film.

This movie is hard to describe. I'll try to do it in two sentences that, I assure, will do the plot no justice. Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays a playwright / director who is given a MacArthur grant (a lot of money) that allows him to spend the next forty years (that's 4-0 years) developing a play. In the course of that time, he is neurotic, loses his family, works obsessively and sees a lot of doctors.

Synecdouche, NY is a collage of itself.  There are layers and layers of scenes, settings and emotions spanny forty years of story.  This collage blurs between dream and reality. I often could not tell if the scene was meant to be actually happening or a fantasy of the characters.

 It is hard to say if Charlie Kaufman's film is a film about love, about creating a play, about following passions, about a broken neurotic, or whatever? You tell me.

I was riveted to each scene and it really hurt to watch at times.  The film is depressing in an epic way. I could feel the pain of life eating the characters away, slowly, tediously and myself with it.  Honestly, I could not sit through the film in one sitting.  I took a break about halfway through then picked up where I left off the next day. It started to wear on my soul.

The acting is superb.  Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt) is perfect for the role, but isn't he always? He plays each emotion and each line very convincingly. His soft, out of shape features make for a terrific, world-weary playwright who still has the drive to go on in spite of his own psychosis and losses.

Catherine Keener and Michele Williams, both experts at portraying angst filled roles, are terrific as well.

Look, I can't not begin to suggest whether this film is right for you or not.  I honestly don't know what the right answer is. Do you like art films that provide loads of scenes to interpret but no answers? You might ('might' being the operative word) love it.  It is big and beautiful in its own right but I can't explain why.  

Maybe I am the sucker here?  

I'm not sure.

Rated R

124 Minutes

More Great Move Reviews By TurtleDog

Greenberg... Ben Stiller in a Serious Role ? Did He Nail The Role? Find Out Here

Biutiful Starring (Really Starring!!) Javier Bardem ... Genius Film - Read Review Here

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