Movie Discussion group verdict – SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK (Dendy): ***1/2

Movie_Group 27 May 2009 4


    Theatre director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is mounting a new play. His life catering to suburban blue-hairs at the local regional theatre in Schenectady, New York is looking bleak. His wife Adele (Catherine Keener) has left him to pursue her painting in Berlin, taking their young daughter Olive with her.His therapist, Madeleine Gravis (Hope Davis), is better at plugging her best-seller than she is at counselling him. A new relationship with the alluringly candid Hazel (Samantha Morton) has prematurely run aground, and a mysterious condition is systematically shutting down each of his autonomic functions, one by one.

    Worried about the transience of his life, he leaves his home behind, and gathers an ensemble cast into a warehouse in New York City, hoping to create a work of brutal honesty. He directs them in a celebration of the mundane, instructing each to live out their constructed lives in a growing mock-up of the city outside. The textured tangle of real and theatrical relationships blurs the line between the world of the play and that of Caden’s own deteriorating reality.

Interesting concept, and it certainly created a lot of discussion regarding the meaning of it all, but not quite as good as Charlie Kaufman’s other films.

Group rating: three-and-a-half stars (out of five).

The Movie Discussion Group meets once a week in Canberra to see a movie and then go for coffee afterwards to discuss. There are no membership fees. For more information, or to join our emailing list, email


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4 Responses to Movie Discussion group verdict – SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK (Dendy): ***1/2
jessieduck jessieduck 10:26 pm 27 May 09

This movie made a lot of top ten’s in last years polls (sad to see it took so long to be released over here… It’s been on my list but might have to wait for DVD

Movie_Group Movie_Group 10:05 pm 27 May 09

caf said :

A pasted synopsis from Dendy’s website, a one-sentence review and a star rating?

Pretty thin content to hang a story on.

These aren’t stories – they’re just regular reports on our group’s activities after being invited to by one of the RiotAct moderators.

However, I do apologise for the brief summation of the group opinion – the post was rushed. Normally there is more than that.

futto futto 7:02 pm 27 May 09

i watched this movie last week. It hurt my brain. It was like someone actually recorded a dream. Some bits grounded in reality but alot is really confusing.

It’s great to see these sort of films once in a while to mix up the standard three act comedies and formulaic action movies i like to see.

caf caf 4:30 pm 27 May 09

A pasted synopsis from Dendy’s website, a one-sentence review and a star rating?

Pretty thin content to hang a story on.

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