This film comes from the mind of Charlie
Kaufman, who also wrote a little diddy called Being John Malkovich,
as well as Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Adaptation,
written by Charlie and his twin brother Donald, is a strange ride, but
in a good way. It's autobiographical in many ways. It's
bizarre at times, very funny at other times, and holds you attention all
the way through.
If you liked Malkovich, you're bound to love
this. It's not quite as far fetched, but it is out there.
Nicholas Cage portrays Charlie Kaufman with spot-on accuracy. But,
you know, who cares? He could've been way off and the movie still
would have been great.
It is an intellectual movie, and it does require you to pay
attention. It's not what the Masked Reviewer would call an art
film, but it is definitely not mainstream. It's self referential,
but in a brilliant way. It's a movie that all who consider
themselves a connoisseurs of movies should see. If you find
talky/wacky movies like Being John Malkovich to be hard to follow
or not very interesting, you probably won't get into the groove of
Adaptation. If you hated the Hollywood insider vibe of The
Player, it might not appeal to you. Everyone else is
almost sure to enjoy it.
The film also stars Meryl Streep who is very good, and Chris Cooper
(of American Beauty, you know, the Nazi lovin' son beatin' guy
who blows Kevin Spacey's brains out when he...oh...you saw it right?) is
brilliant. There were a few other people in the movie who were
also good, but Cage, Streep, and Cooper were the big three. Or big
four, actually, since Cage plays both Charlie and Donald Kaufman
(they're twins). Speaking of which, there is an interesting piece
of information that changes your viewing of the movie; it's not a
spoiler, per se, but rather a bit of real life background that might
change your viewing appreciation. If you want to read it, go to
the bottom of the page and read the Spoiler section. It
doesn't really spoil anything, and maybe you already know this, but the
Masked Reviewer takes the surprise element of a film very seriously and
won't jeopardize it here.
The Masked Reviewer gives this film the coveted Golden Mask.
It's good watchin'.
If you like Nicolas Cage, take the
Nicolas Cage Movie Poster Quiz!
Expectation from the Title: Deals with adaptation. It
does, in several different clever ways. Nominee for Best Use of a
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Nice): This is actually good. It's Maskalicious.
The Pros: Great insider Hollywood stuff, funny, intricate
plot, great characters, well acted, well paced, and very clever.
The Cons: It gets a bit weird, but likeably weird.
Spoiler: Okay. Twirl your noodle around
this. The movie deals with the writers, Charlie and Donald
Kaufman. They've both been nominated for an Academy Award for this
film. But...Donald Kaufman doesn't exist. Charlie made up
Donald when he first came to Hollywood. They're the same person.
Knowing that puts much of the stuff that seems to be real life into
perspective. Charlie insisted that he and Donald both be credited
for the screenplay. The Masked Reviewer hopes more than anything
that the Kaufmans win the Oscar this year, just to hear the speech.
One might suspect that many Academy voters would be inclined to vote
that way, not even counting the fact that the screenplay is, as usual,
brilliant. Now, in keeping with tradition, I'll make some stuff up
in case someone accidentally happened to glance at the spoiler section
by accident. The following never happened in this movie; a GIANT
GORILLA, wearing a tutu, swings through the rafters and after doing a
triple summersault, lands face down in the guacamole. Larry helps
the gorilla to the side of the ballroom and straightens her hair.
It's nice to see more parts for female gorillas, and Hollywood should be
commended for their open-mindedness.