On ‘Synecdoche’

Posted by · 5:54 pm · October 24th, 2008

I’ve been pretty silent about my feelings on Charlie Kaufman’s “Synecdoche, New York” ever since I first saw the film a month ago.  I haven’t been coy, I just haven’t known how to qualify a film like this in a review format, and while I respect those whose job it is to convey such sentiments week in and week out, I think it’s a foolish exercise in this instance.

Predictably, the film is splitting the critical masses as hordes of viewers wrestle with the idiosyncracies of Kaufman’s narrative.  I won’t comment on the brilliance of Manhola Dargis’s lede or the stupidity of Rex Reed’s assessment, but I will say this: count me in the “one of the year’s best” field.

More in the year’s Top 10 column in December, no doubt.

→ 9 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

9 responses so far

  • 1 10-24-2008 at 7:15 pm

    Speaking English said...

    This is my kind of movie, and I can’t wait to see it. Looks funny, somber, quirky, melancholic… kind of Fellini-esque actually. I absolutely adore “Little Person,” the song written for the film, sure to get an Oscar nomination. Beautiful tune that I’m sure represents the mood of the film greatly.

    REALLY looking forward to this.

  • 2 10-24-2008 at 7:39 pm

    John said...

    Hooray! We need as many “Synecdoche” supporters as we can get.

  • 3 10-24-2008 at 8:26 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I wouldn’t say it’s “sure to get an Oscar nomination,” English, no matter how much you adore it. Just sayin…

  • 4 10-24-2008 at 11:20 pm

    Brian Kinsley said...

    That song is, ironically and sadly, probably the best shot the film has at a nomination at all.

    A Jon Brion nomination would make my Oscars.

  • 5 10-25-2008 at 12:12 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Best Makeup.

  • 6 10-25-2008 at 3:51 am

    Guy Lodge said...


    In a year when the home runs I’ve seen have mainly been small, modestly-structured pleasures, this is one of the few vast, big-thinking canvases that absolutely scores.

    If the film weren’t so likely to send Academy members running, I’d predict something for Samantha Morton. It’s the kind of sympathetic, emotionally rangy performance they like, but voters probably won’t notice.

    Read a bit of Rex Reed’s moronic review after hearing some kerfuffle about it, but gave up when he dismissed all Kaufman’s previous work as trash.

  • 7 10-25-2008 at 5:28 am

    Jamie said...

    I think a Best Supporting Actress nomination is feasible for Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, or Dianne Weist. Morton has the most sympathetic role, Williams could benefit from the constant media attention and critical acclaim for her role in Wendy and Lucy, and Dianne Weist has been moderately popular of late for her role on In Treatment.

    I just really love this movie.

  • 8 10-25-2008 at 3:53 pm

    Zan said...

    Rex Reed’s review is one of the worst I’ve ever read. He thought “synecdoche” was a misspelling of “Schenectady.”

  • 9 10-26-2008 at 12:11 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    I can’t imagine I won’t like this film but the critical divide is even bigger than with Changeling. It baffles me frankly.