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Adaptation. (2002)

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

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Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
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3,071 ( 319)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 64 wins & 100 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Charlie Kaufman / Donald Kaufman
... Valerie Thomas
... Susan Orlean
... John Laroche
... Matthew Osceola
... Russell (as G. Paul Davis)
... Randy
... Ranger Tony
... Amelia Kavan
... Augustus Margary
... Ranger Steve Neely (scenes deleted)
... Buster Baxley
... Defense Attorney
... Prosecutor
... Orlean's Husband
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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

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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 February 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Orchid Thief  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$384,478, 8 December 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$22,245,861, 20 April 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes (as of 2015) six Oscar winners: Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Tilda Swinton, Curtis Hanson, and Spike Jonze; and four Oscar nominees: Maggie Gyllenhaal, David O. Russell, Catherine Keener, and John Malkovich. See more »

Goofs

During his conversation with Susan at the nursery, John's assistant's ponytail appears and disappears over his shoulder between shots. 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 ...
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Crazy Credits

After the closing credits, there's a quote from Donald's screenplay "The Three" and a dedication "To the loving memory of Donald Kaufman." See more »

Connections

References The Silence of the Lambs (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Wild Horses
Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
Published by ABKCO Music, Inc.
Performed by The Rolling Stones
By Arrangement with ABKCO Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Could you be more Original?
15 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

Incredible.

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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