Thursday, September 13, 2012

Synecdoche, New York

A local playwright and theater director in upstate New York receives an illustrious grant, moves to the city, and, inside the confines of a massive dome, begins to stage his interminable, ever expanding, and autobiographical masterpiece. "Synechdoche, New York" is the extremely ambitious, largely incomprehensible, and endlessly fascinating directorial debut of eccentric screenwriter Charlie Kaufman who creates another analytical, intellectually stimulating masterpiece. As the equally neurotic and physically decaying playwright, Philip Seymour Hoffman is excellent in an arduous and incredibly demanding role, where he is given great support from his impeccable female cast which includes Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton (delightful), Michelle Williams, Hope Davis (hilarious), Emily Watson, and Dianne Wiest. When I first saw this film upon its release, I thought Kaufman had made an incomprehensible film solely for himself. Upon a second viewing, however, much becomes evident while, like Hoffman's constantly aggrandizing opus, more questions continue to arise.