7.6/10
78,688
320 user 248 critic

Synecdoche, New York (2008)

Trailer
1:08 | Trailer
A theatre director struggles with his work, and the women in his life, as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as part of his new play.

Director:

Charlie Kaufman

Writer:

Charlie Kaufman
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Popularity
2,757 ( 399)
8 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Caden Cotard
Catherine Keener ... Adele Lack
Sadie Goldstein ... Olive (4 years old)
Tom Noonan ... Sammy Barnathan
Peter Friedman ... Emergency Room Doctor
Charles Techman ... Like Clockwork Patient
Josh Pais ... Ophthalmologist
Daniel London ... Tom
Robert Seay ... David
Michelle Williams ... Claire Keen
Stephen Adly Guirgis ... Davis
Samantha Morton ... Hazel
Hope Davis ... Madeleine Gravis
Frank Girardeau Frank Girardeau ... Plumber
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Maria
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Dianne Wiest; and five Oscar nominees: Michelle Williams, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Emily Watson, Catherine Keener and Samantha Morton. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Caden Cotard: I don't think you should tell her she doesn't have blood...
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Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Song for Caden
Written by Charlie Kaufman and Jon Brion
Vocals recorded and engineered by Juan Patino
Performed by Deanna Storey
See more »

User Reviews

 
highly ambitious
27 February 2016 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

5 February 2009 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Synecdoche, New York See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$172,194, 26 October 2008

Gross USA:

$3,083,538

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,658,401
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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