A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Seymour Hoffman
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
Donald refers to "Flowers for Algernon" as a film about flowers (although Donald admits that he had never seen the film). Charlie tells Donald that "Flowers for Algernon" was neither about flowers nor a film. While Charlie is completely right that "Flowers for Algernon" is not about flowers, he is only technically correct that it is not a movie; when the novel was adapted into a film in 1968, it was retitled Charly (1968). Cliff Robertson won an Academy Award for Best Actor for playing the title character. A TV remake of Flowers for Algernon (2000) was made 30 years later. See more »
At breakfast, when Donald, Charlie, and Caroline are in the kitchen, the coffee pot keeps switching sides of the table, and some empty coffee cups suddenly fill up. See more »
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 ...
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The screenplay is credited as being written by both Charlie Kaufman and his fictional brother Donald. See more »
Charlie Kaufman might just be the most genius screenwriter (I daren't say ever) at the moment. I mean, trying to adapt a book for a screenplay, not succeeding, yet in the process writing a screenplay about how you can't seem to adapt this book for a screenplay. Oh yeah, and also being helped by your not existing twin brother, and crediting him as co-writer, and being nominatad for an Oscar together with him.
Is anyone following this?
Kaufman seems to be the master of destroying the line between reality and fiction.
I kind of have a hard time saying anything about this movie, because I don't know what to say. You should just go and say it. There's nothing like it.
If you liked Being John Malkovic you wil definitely love this. If you hated BJM you might still like it. It doesn't have the absurdity and surreality of BJM. The story is just incredibly intelligently written.
Even though the movie is about how Kaufman is unable to adapt this book, he actually succeeds in doing just that in the process.
Jesus, I'm still totally stunned.
Jonze does do a very good job once again. But the direction is just outshined by the story...
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