Within this millenieum, there are a few breakthrough directors coming up to make a movement within the film industry. Those people also directed music videos of breakthrough bands like U2, The White Stripes and The Beastie Boys. They were Michel Gondry, Wes Anderson and so many more.
But in this movie Adaptation, it is directed by Spike Jonze, written by a guy named Charlie Kaufman* and his twin brother Donald (however he isn't real, starring Nicholas Cage as... Charlie Kaufman and his brother.
Adaptation is a black comedy, the story about Charlie Kaufman. After the critical and financial success of Being John Malcovich, Kaufman is assigned to write an adapted screenplay from a real life book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep). However he has trouble writing the script since the book has no plot and that he wanted to focus on the concept of the book which is... Yep you guessed it... flowers. His twin brother Donald (the fictional writer of movie hence played by Cage himself) comes along and stay in his house wanting to be a screenwriter like his brother.
Meanwhile, the novelist Susan Orlean comess along to the film and looks at how her book's about to be created, and her relationship of a gentle orchid hunter John Laroche which turns into a romance.
Adaptation has a weird feel on its body. Spike Jonze has this gift into his film with making each scene almost multi layered, it's very hard to comprehend and stars real actors playing real people covering the events happened to them but then neatly contradicts these events of the plot of the film. Kaufman* With a lot on its hand (the script) it curiously explores and contradicts the events of these characters and how challenged they are to finding out what they are. It goes into scenes wildly unpredictable and goes blackly funny like Kaufman unintendingly entering into his own screenplay. The dialogue is almost breathtaking and will either want to love and hate these people at the same time.
The casting is almost flawless. Nichoas Cage is in the best performance of his career (currently he ended up into unrelentless filming) playing Charlie Kaufman and portraying him as a depressed, self loathing, lack of courage label of pessimism. His voice over goes into the mind of Kaufman starting with a monologue and then a scene with him at a dinner table sweating. Cage also execute being the twin Donald as well, with his lines being said distinctively and hilarilously. So you might feel for Charlie some hatred while you will feel likeable to Donald.
Meryl Streep is a delight as Susan Orlean earning her 13th nomination of an Oscar, while Chris Cooper deservedly wins his Oscar as John Laroche being both funny and yet emotionally fractured at the same time.
The title Adaptation means to turn one material into another material. Another meaning is when animals or living species turn into another species with new features. The movie has several meanings and questions we wanted to know and explain what they mean. With many themes being interpreted, it's wildly enjoyable and amazing and with get you close to the edge with this one.
Another movie similar to Adaptation is Memento. Like Adaptation, this movie is filled with many layers, it bend your mind almost completely. The difference is (and there are many differences here) that it's Adaptation is a black comedy, Memento is more of a film noir.
Directed by Christopher Nolan, Memento goes in a rewind order where as the ending is the beginning, the beginning is the ending. It starts with an amnesiac named Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) killing a man named Teddy (Joe Pantaloliano). His motive for this killing is that Teddy is John Gammell, the person he wants to kill in revenge for his rape and murder of his wife. Shelby used to be a psychiatist treating a patient named Sammy Davis who has anterograde amnesia, the kind of memory loss where you quickly lost track of recent events, but now he had that condition himself. He's now investigating that murder. Turns out to Shelby and to us that Teddy's not the only person in the game. It also involves a bartender named Natalie (Carrie Anne Moss) who tricks him into thinking that she was helping him with the investigation.
This is Christopher Nolan's magnus opus and I'm not just saying that because the critics said it. It was based on a short story by his younger brother Jonathon and seems immensively trippy and atmospheric. And there are many themes of poignancy, grief, perception, revenge and memory. Even so Nolan's structure of the movie is incredible as the story goes backward to how and why one event suppose to happen. It happens to challenge the audience into what is going on.
The visual of the film is excellent. Each scene starts with black and white and after goes to color. Memento then, by ten minutes, transcends into a film noir with its characterization of the genre with elements like manipulation and identity which leads to a mystery at the same time.
The casting is great. Carrie Anne Moss and Joe Pantaloliano were from the Matrix and it was like Nolan was a fan of that movie and thought "Oh yeah i can have that cast'. Even so they are outstanding in this film and no doubt about that. But Guy Pearce is sublime as the heart of the film. He plays a tragic character who is mentally fractured with this untreatable condition and his narration in many scenes are really creepy by the ears of it.
However Memento is not that perfect. Nolan has directed a really great structure for the movie but at the end of each chapter, it becomes really repetitve.
It's official. Christopher Nolan's is one of 21st Century's visionary directors