MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 68 this week

Adaptation. (2002)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  10 January 2003 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 120,690 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 694 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...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 20 Dec 2010
 
a list of 25 titles
created 20 Oct 2011
 
a list of 32 titles
created 23 Nov 2011
 
a list of 34 titles
created 22 Feb 2012
 
a list of 34 titles
created 24 Aug 2012
 

Related Items

Search for "Adaptation." on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Adaptation. (2002)

Adaptation. (2002) on IMDb 7.8/10

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 55 wins & 57 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
Adam's Apples (2005)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A neo-nazi sentenced to community service at a church clashes with the blindly devotional priest.

Director: Anders Thomas Jensen
Stars: Ulrich Thomsen, Mads Mikkelsen, Nicolas Bro
Down by Law (1986)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of three different men in a Louisiana prison and their eventual journey.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni
Mystery Train (1989)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Three stories are connected by a Memphis hotel and the spirit of Elvis Presley.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Masatoshi Nagase, Yûki Kudô, Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin wants to achieve success in showbiz, by resorting to stalking his idol, a late night talk show host who craves his own privacy.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott
The Sting (1973)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In 1930s Chicago, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
Filth I (2013)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A corrupt cop manipulates and hallucinates his way through a bid to secure a promotion and win back his wife and daughter.

Director: Jon S. Baird
Stars: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan
Bad Santa (2003)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham
Biography | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Based on the true story of Jack DiNorscio, a mobster who defended himself in court for what would be the longest mafia trial in U.S. history.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Ron Silver
Defendor (2009)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A comedy centered around three characters: an everyday guy who comes to believe he's a superhero, his psychiatrist, and the teenager he befriends.

Director: Peter Stebbings
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Kat Dennings, Sandra Oh
Paper Moon (1973)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

During the Great Depression, a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter, and the two forge an unlikely partnership.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Madeline Kahn
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective, is recruited to close the case.

Director: Jody Hill
Stars: Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, Ray Liotta
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:

Charlie Kaufman writes the way he lives... With Great Difficulty. His Twin Brother Donald Lives the way he writes... with foolish abandon. Susan writes about life... But can't live it. John's life is a book... Waiting to be adapted. One story... Four Lives... A million ways it can end. 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

Nicolas Cage was given completely separate credits for Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman. The credits were given in order of appearance and each of Nicolas Cage's credits appeared in the order that Charlie and Donald appeared. See more »

Goofs

When Susan Orlean and her husband are having the dinner party at her home, she excuses herself from the table to go to the bathroom. When she closes the door and slides to the floor to sit, she puts her left hand to her face and her wedding band is on, then it's not on as she slides to the floor to sit, and then in the next scene when she is sleeping in bed, it's on again. 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

The screenplay is credited as being written by both Charlie Kaufman and his fictional brother Donald. See more »


Soundtracks

Alison
Written and Performed by Elvis Costello
Published by BMG Songs, Inc. o/b/o BMG Music Publishing Ltd.
Courtesy of Rhino Entertainment Company/Elvis Costello Music
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products and Courtesy of Elvis Costello Ltd.
Under license from Demon Music Group Ltd.
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.


53 of 68 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:
?