MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 105 this week

Adaptation. (2002)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  10 January 2003 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 122,400 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 697 user | 242 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean for the screen.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 23 titles
created 25 Aug 2011
 
list image
a list of 30 titles
created 13 Jan 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 10 Mar 2013
 
a list of 26 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 21 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Adaptation." on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Adaptation. (2002)

Adaptation. (2002) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Adaptation..

User Polls

Won 1 Oscar. Another 60 wins & 64 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of the movie star, John Malkovich.

Director: Spike Jonze
Stars: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A theatre director struggles with his work, and the women in his life, as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as part of his new play.

Director: Charlie Kaufman
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous gym employees who attempt to sell it.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his drinking, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.

Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue, Julian Sands
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A Chicago weather man, separated from his wife and children, debates whether professional and personal success are mutually exclusive.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Hope Davis, Nicholas Hoult
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A phobic con artist and his protégé are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the former's teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Alison Lohman, Sam Rockwell
Biography | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An adaptation of the cult memoir of game show impresario Chuck Barris, in which he purports to have been a CIA hitman.

Director: George Clooney
Stars: Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.

Director: Michel Gondry
Stars: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Litefoot ...
Russell (as G. Paul Davis)
...
...
...
...
...
Ranger Steve Neely (scenes deleted)
...
...
...
Prosecutor
...
Orlean's Husband
Edit

Storyline

While his latest movie Being John Malkovich (1999) is in production, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is hired by Valerie Thomas to adapt Susan Orlean's non-fiction book "The Orchid Thief" for the screen. Thomas bought the movie rights before Orlean wrote the book, when it was only an article in The New Yorker. The book details the story of rare orchid hunter John Laroche, whose passion for orchids and horticulture made Orlean discover passion and beauty for the first time in her life. Charlie wants to be faithful to the book in his adaptation, but despite Laroche himself being an interesting character in his own right, Charlie is having difficulty finding enough material in Laroche to fill a movie, while equally not having enough to say cinematically about the beauty of orchids. At the same time, Charlie is going through other issues in his life. His insecurity as a person doesn't allow him to act upon his feelings for Amelia Kavan, who is interested in him as a man. And Charlie's twin ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

orchid | book | screenwriter | thief | twin | See more »

Taglines:

From the creator of Being John Malkovich, comes the story about the creator of Being John Malkovich. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexuality, some drug use and violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 January 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Orchid Thief  »

Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$21,240 (Hong Kong) (6 June 2003)

Gross:

$89,971 (Hong Kong) (13 June 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The church mentioned by Amelia at the end of the film is the Sedlec Ossuary located in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic. About 40,000 bones are arranged to form decorations, including chandeliers in the church. This is the same ossuary that Jan Svankmajer filmed for his short film Kostnice (1970). See more »

Goofs

When Susan Orlean and John La Roche are walking through the swamp and Laroche calls Susan a "dumb bitch" she has sunglasses, but in the next shot of her, she has regular glasses. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charlie Kaufman: [voiceover] Do I have an original thought in my head? My bald head. Maybe if I were happier, my hair wouldn't be falling out. Life is short. I need to make the most of it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I'm a walking cliché. I really need to go to the doctor and have my leg checked. There's something wrong. A bump. The dentist called again. I'm way overdue. If I stop putting things off, I would be happier. All I do is sit on my fat ass. If my ass wasn't fat I would ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Meryl Streep's wardrobe designer is credited as "Mr. Streep's wardrobe" See more »

Connections

Featured in The 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

One Part Lullaby
Written by John Davis, Lou Barlow and Wally Gagel
Published by Careers-BMG Music Publishing, Inc. o/b/o itself, Endless Soft Hits, Loobiecore and Blisswg Productions
Performed by The Folk Implosion
Courtesy of Interscope Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Adapt Your Thinking
15 January 2003 | by (Rochester, MN) – See all my reviews



While taking a break from studying for my calculus final (a brain-draining exercise to say the least), I sat down to write out this review on what was, no doubt about it, a brain-draining movie (in an offbeat but good way). Of course I expected this from `Adaptation', for last month, in every major magazine, it has been touted as a mind-twisting ride, which piqued my interest.

Charlie Kaufman (Nicholas Cage), by his own admission, is a loser. By my viewing, that's a fairly accurate description-if you add neurotic. Anyhow, Kaufman is a talented screenwriter, who, after writing what is his `script of a lifetime' (`Being John Malkovich), he takes on a project that is over his head-adapting Susan Orlean's (Meryl Streep) book, `The Orchid Thief' into an amazing film about flowers that will stun and amaze all.

The plot diverges here. One path follows Kaufman along the road to the inevitable breakdown of writer's block that forces him to jump from idea to idea in vain attempt to write a screenplay, until he commits the cardinal sin of screenwriting-writing himself into the script. This is not helped in the least by his hack brother Donald (Nicholas Cage) successfully working on his own script (a complete antithesis of his own).

The other road follows Orlean as she goes about writing her book three years earlier. The book is about a dentally challenged Floridian orchid thief, John Laroche (Chris Cooper), who is personable enough to cause Orlean to fall for him, his drugs, and his outside-the-law lifestyle.

As you might well imagine, this is not your usual Friday-night flick. The complexity of three separate, yet interwoven plots (Laroche the thief, Orlean writing about the thief and Kaufman writing about the writer writing about the thief) is stunning and the end, for those who will get it (I did not at first) will blow you away once it hits you…I'll give you a bit of help in knowing why the ending works later on. Oh, and Charlie (but not Donald) Kaufman, Susan Orlean, and John Laroche are all real people, which will make the film infinitely easier to understand.

Nicholas Cage is amazing. To have to carry out the performances of two different characters is certainly a feat, but to do it with such widely disparate characters like the Kaufmans is really nothing less than wondrous. Not to be outdone, Meryl Streep is superb, especially in the third act of the movie when her character becomes a more physical one. As for Cooper, well, I don't want to insult the guy, but he comes across as a redneck hick and a shyster, which is exactly what the script demanded.

All glory praise and honor for these fine actors would be for naught, had it not been for director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman (see that name before?). What they have done is simply amazing and is a tribute to their brilliance. Visually, the film does not stand out much (except for the fast-action evolution sequences that are worth their while). In short, kudos to the entire staff.

I promised earlier to give you some help in figuring out why the ending works…before I thought of this nugget of info (instead of studying anti-derivatives), the ending had me confused and slightly angry. The key to the ending is in the opening credits, in the line `Written by Charlie and Donald Kaufman'. Good luck in comprehending the ending. I give this film my first 10 of the year.


54 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What happened to Nicholas Cage????!!!!! justice666
This movie is so basic. I CAN'T hpavillion1
Anyone else thinks the waitress was unnecessarily rude? hesperus59
A list of the best movis not to be in the top: 250 smashart
5 Phrases worth the ticket josehugo8av
Filming the Being John Malcovich bits filmiclife
Discuss Adaptation. (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?