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
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.
Theater director Caden Cotard is mounting a new play. Fresh off of a successful production of Death of a Salesman, he has traded in the suburban blue-hairs and regional theater of Schenectady for the cultured audiences and bright footlights of Broadway. Armed with a MacArthur grant and determined to create a piece of brutal realism and honesty, something into which he can put his whole self, he gathers an ensemble cast into a warehouse in Manhattan's theater district. He directs them in a celebration of the mundane, instructing each to live out their constructed lives in a small mock-up of the city outside. As the city inside the warehouse grows, Caden's own life veers wildly off the tracks. The shadow of his ex-wife Adele, a celebrated painter who left him years ago for Germany's art scene, sneers at him from every corner. Somewhere in Berlin, his daughter Olive is growing up under the questionable guidance of Adele's friend, Maria. He's helplessly driving his marriage to actress ...Written by
In the scene where Caden is talking to Hazel directly after having talked to the doctor after his seizure, there is a dog in a box behind Hazel in her box office. Upon cutting to Caden, and then cutting back, the dog is gone. This is the remnants of the character "Squishy", from the original draft of the script. The almost-dead dog was found by Hazel after driving home from the premiere. She was saddened by Caden denying her, and she finds the dog, run over and bloody on the side of the road. She decides to keep it. This is the only scene where he is present, and his presence is not explained. See more »
Theater director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is physically falling apart. He is working on the play Death of a Salesman with his leading lady Claire Keen (Michelle Williams). His wife Adele Lack (Catherine Keener) goes on a trip with their daughter Olive. Box office girl Hazel (Samantha Morton) keeps flirting with him. He gets a grant and rents out a giant space. He starts building a play where the cast does everyday things. The world inside the giant space starts becoming more real than the real world. Caden and Claire become parents with a girl as reality and fiction become indistinguishable.
This is a highly ambitious movie coming from the outsider mind of Charlie Kaufman. The start is pretty slow especially with a depressed Philip Seymour Hoffman. The movie turns very loopy, imaginative and utterly original. This is a movie trying to be life itself. It loses some of its cohesiveness as it tries to be too much. At times, I'm both resigned to not being able to grab hold of the story and interested to see more loopy ideas. I give Kaufman full marks for being unrestrained in his vision but this may need a bit more to make it an accessible watch.
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