Edit
Synecdoche, New York (2008) Poster

Trivia

At the start of the film, when 'Phillip Seymour Hoffman' is reading the news at the breakfast table, he reads out that "Harold Pinter has died.... wait.... no - he's won the Nobel prize". This is a reference to a famous Sky News clip whereby Sky, in their rush to be first with breaking news, accidentally announced that Harold Pinter was dead. In fact it had just been announced that he was to be awarded the Nobel prize for literature.
The article that Caden reads while in the doctor's waiting room, about his wife, is titled: "It's Good To Be Adele". The intro paragraph reads: "Six months ago, Adele was an under-appreciated housewife in Eastern New York. Stuck in a dead-end marriage to a slovenly ugly-face loser, Adele Lack had big dreams for her and her then four-year-old daughter, Olivia. That's when her paintings got small."
The name next to the buzzer of Adele's apartment reads "Capgras." Given the subject of the film - a man has actors play the real people in his life - this is almost certainly a reference to a psychological phenomenon called the Capgras delusion, where the sufferer believes that everyone in his or her life has been replaced with an identical-looking impostor.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's character's last name is a reference to the Cotard delusion or Cotard's syndrome, also known as nihilistic or negation delusion, which is a rare neuropsychiatric disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that he or she is dead, does not exist, is putrefying or has lost his/her blood or internal organs.
Roger Ebert named this film the best of the 2000s.
Christopher Evan Welch, according to Charlie Kaufman, was cast at the last minute. Welch only had less than a day to rehearse and perform his scene, delivering a monologue.
In a radio interview, director Charlie Kaufman revealed that while scouting for a location, he and a few other crew members became stuck in an elevator late at night and were afraid it would plummet. They had to open the doors and jump out to escape. In the same interview, Kaufman discussed a recurring and claustrophic dream he has about being stuck in an elevator, and that the movie was purposefully structured like a dream (it has double the number of scenes than an average movie of its length).
The name Adele is said to mean, "kind, tender, noble". Adele's full name, Adele Lack, therefore implies that she is not kind or tender, a reflection on her attitude towards Caden. It is also a reflection of what she does for a living, as "lack" is German for "paint".
The film was originally set to be directed by Spike Jonze, who chose to direct Where the Wild Things Are (2009) instead.
Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines "synecdoche" as: "a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole (as fifty sail for fifty ships), the whole for a part (as society for high society), the species for the genus (as cutthroat for assassin), the genus for the species (as a creature for a man), or the name of the material for the thing made (as boards for stage)."
Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut.
When Caden sees Hazel at the box-office, a brief shot reveals she is reading: page 1 of Marcel Proust's Swann's Way, the first book of his multi-volume novel Search of Lost Time. A recurring character throughout Proust's novel is Dr. Cottard, reportedly based somewhat on Proust's own father, a noted physician, and on the Cotard who gives the delusional syndrome its name.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's character is directing Death of a Salesman in the movie. A play which he later starred in on Broadway in 2012.
For her role as Caden's adult daughter, Robin Weigert had to undergo 20 hours of tattoo artistry for her character.
In the audition for Caden's replacement, Toby Jones is seen briefly in the foreground (uncredited). This is a reference to the fact that both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jones portrayed Truman Capote in the same year.
Dianne Wiest appears after an hour and twenty minutes into the film. Even then, she gets only ten minutes of screen time, despite prominent billing.
The title to this movie is a play on Schenectady, New York, where the movie takes place.
This film features Lynn Cohen and Jerry Adler as Caden's parents. This is the second time the couple have featured as a married couple. The previous film was Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery.
The word "synecdoche" is pronounced "si-nek-duh-kee" (with a stress on "nek").
In the beginning Caden Cotard (Hoffman) is listening to the radio where an interview with a professor for Philosophy is playing. When she gives a bleak outlook on what life will become like, she is really citing a translation of the last paragraph of the seminal poem "Herbsttag" (Autumn Day) by famous German author and poet Rainer Maria Rilke, which, in its original language goes like this: Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr. Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben, wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben und wird in den Alleen hin und her unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.
The writer of 'Little Winky' is Horace Azpiazu. This is a reference to crew member Stefanie Azpiazu.
8 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Dianne Wiest; and four Oscar nominees: Michelle Williams, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Catherine Keener and Samantha Morton.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Charlie Kaufman cast Michelle Williams in this film because he loved her performance in Dick (1999).
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In Synecdoche New York there are seven real plays mentioned. Only once is a fake play mentioned, Needleman. Claire mentions Needleman when she is telling Caden what she is leaving him to work on.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Tom Noonan and Jennifer Jason Leigh would later co-star in Anomalisa (2015), also written and directed by Charlie Kaufman.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film cast features many actors who appeared in many films directed by Woody Allen: Lynn Cohen and Jerry Adler' were in _Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993); Cohen also appeared in Deconstructing Harry (1997); Dianne Wiest appeared in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Radio Days (1987), September (1987) and Bullets Over Broadway (1994); Samantha Morton was in Sweet and Lowdown (1999); John Rothman was in Stardust Memories (1980), Zelig (1983) and The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985).
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Emily Watson and Philip Seymour Hoffman previously appeared in Punch-Drunk Love (2002) and Red Dragon (2002).
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A poster for a movie about the in-universe book Little Winky, called Little Winky is visible during the movie and is shown to star Caden himself.
2 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Tom Noonan previously appeared in Manhunter (1986), while Philip Seymour Hoffman appeared in the remake, Red Dragon (2002).
3 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A tattoo of two petals on Adele's chest is briefly visible.
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Amy Wright and Catherine Keener also appear in Please Give (2010).
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Peter Friedman also appeared in The Savages (2007).
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Alice Drummond and Philip Seymour Hoffman also appeared in Doubt (2008) and Nobody's Fool (1994).
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
'John Rothman' and 'Jerry Adler' also appeared in Prime (2005).
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page