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Adaptation 2002

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3.5 out of 5 stars (61) IMDb 7.7/10

A lovelorn screenwriter turns to his less talented twin brother for help when his efforts to adapt a non-fiction book go nowhere.

Starring:
Nicolas Cage, Tilda Swinton
Runtime:
1 hour, 54 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Crime, Comedy
Director Spike Jonze
Starring Nicolas Cage, Tilda Swinton
Supporting actors Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Jay Tavare, Litefoot, Roger Willie, Jim Beaver, Cara Seymour, Doug Jones, Stephen Tobolowsky, Gary Farmer, Peter Jason, Gregory Itzin, Curtis Hanson, Agnes NaDene Baddoo, Paul Fortune, Paul Jasmin, Lisa Love, Wendy Mogel
Studio Sony Pictures International
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mr. Joe HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 Feb. 2006
Format: DVD
In ADAPTATION, the audience views sequences from alternating storylines, one from the present and one 3-years past, until both converge at the film's conclusion.
In the "past", New York journalist Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep) is researching a story, eventually to become the book "The Orchid Thief", about John Laroche (Chris Cooper), whose passion is collecting endangered species of orchids to serve as nursery stock. Actually, he poaches them from protected nature preserves in the south Florida swamps. But, since he has Native Americans indigenous to the region doing the picking, his operation is legally untouchable under an arcane interpretation of the law.
In the "present", Nicolas Cage plays the dual roles of Charlie Kaufman and his identical twin Donald. Charlie is the accomplished screenwriter adapting "The Orchid Thief" to the Silver Screen. Donald also wants to be a screenwriter, and is in the process of authoring his first script. Charlie is handicapped by a severe lack of self esteem, which is exacerbated by his inability to find the muse for his current assignment as well a his failure to establish a relationship with a woman. It doesn't help that he shares a roof with Donald, his complete opposite. Donald is self-assured, successful with the ladies, and positively gushing with creative juices as he writes his initial screenplay.
Without the use of any special make-up tricks, each of the Kaufman twins is instantly recognizable by the viewer. Cage manages this differentiation with an acting performance worthy of an Oscar nomination. Charlie's gloom is consistently marked by the downturned corners of his mouth and a general hangdog look. He's Major Downer personified.
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Format: DVD
From the reviews posted here, it would seem there is no middle ground reaction to this film. Like marmite you either love it or hate it. I loved it- it is one of my favourite films of all time, and one that I could watch again and again.

It is off beat, quirky, breaks all the rules of storytelling in film, and yet has so many layers it challenges the viewer to keep up.

If you favour off beat non-mainstream film and enjoyed 'Being John Machovich, Im sure you to will find it an awe inspiring experience. If you are more into mainstream hollywood blockbusters, I would probably steer clear.
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Format: DVD
"Adaptation" is an overwhelmingly brilliant and ingenious film that forces you to think and pay attention to every little detail in order to get the joke. This is not one of those movies where you can just sit down and enjoy, this is one that you really have to focus on and be prepared to be caught off guard. From the same people who brought you "Being John Malkovitch" comes this stunningly amazing and original film that forces you to use your brain.
The movie is about Charlie Kaufman, a screenwriter who has agreed to adapt the book "The Orchid Thief" by Susan Orlean into a screenplay. He wants to make a movie that is true to itself and that isn't filled with sex, drugs, car chases, murder, and so on. However, he is having a lot of trouble trying to make it work for a screenplay and is experiencing some serious writer's block. It eventually gets to the point where the script he is writing is no longer about the book "The Orchid Thief," but is now about him trying to adapt the book into a movie and what has transpired to get himself there. That is ONLY a fraction of the movie. The rest I will not divulge because there are a lot of subtle surprises and twists.
I was in absolute awe when the ending credits started to roll. I wanted to applaud, I wanted to yell, and I wanted to shout. My mouth was on the floor by the time it was all said and done, and it stayed in my head for the rest of the night. This is a superb movie that toyed with all of us from start to finish. And what was great was that half of the audience did not like it because they didn't "get it." For once, I "got it" and nobody else in that theatre did. It's usually the opposite with me, which was why I was so amazed. The subtleness and the cleverness that prevailed in this film was really a sight to see.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I read the book "The Orchid Thief" first, then watched this film immediately afterwards. Knowing the book definitely helped. It's about the difficulty experienced by the screenplay writer in adapting the book (which has no real story as such; it's more about the obsessional nature of orchid lovers and the history/quirks of orchid collectors/lovers) into a film. In the end he settles for going against his desire to make a pure film about flowers which is true to the book, and turns it into a Hollywood style movie. Drugs, love, guns and murder are brought into play, none of which feature in the book. A social comment maybe, an insight into the nature of film making /screenplay adaptation. I enjoyed it but I can understand why those who had not read the book might have struggled to make sense of it.
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Format: DVD
Not everyone will like Adaptation. There is hardly a story line, many things don't make sense, and apart from the ending there is little action. This is a film that you need to focus on from start to finish. But if you take the trouble, you will find reward - this is one of the most intelligent and extraordinary films ever made.
For me, Adaptation is Kaufman's best film, even ahead of Eternal Sunshine. Though Sunshine is easier to follow and touches the heart as well as the mind, Adaptation is the true masterpiece. It is perhaps like the drawings of MC Escher (the impossible figures) or the music of Rachmaninov (2nd piano concert). Perhaps the works of these artists do not strike you as beautiful at first glance, but it leaves you with amazement - how did they do it? For Kaufman to come up with this idea, and then create a story that actually works - true genius. With most films, you may think "I'd be able to write that if I'd have the time". Only Kaufman could write this film - for us mortals it's even hard to explain what the film is about. Here's my attempt ...
Adaptation is about a screenwriter (Charlie Kaufman - the real writer), who is experiencing a writers block. He is trying to adapt a book, but keeps getting stuck, and starts over again. Every time he has an idea how to make the story work, the film suddenly moves in that direction. Whenever people give him advise, he follows this advise and the film changes again.
So the 1st story in the film is about Kaufman writing a screenplay, and the 2nd story is the story that he is writing - about a female journalist who writes a story about orchids, and gets to know an eccentric orchid expert. Anything that happens to Kaufman in the 1st story has an effect on the way the 2nd story is told.
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