Adaptation-PosterHow do you write a review about Adaptation.? Kind of an odd little film. Not a bad film. Just odd. Calling it good or bad is easy. Letting people know what it’s like? That’s a little harder.

Maybe I should take a page from the screenplay. Write the review in a stream of consciousness fashion. Ramble instead of organizing my thoughts first. Organization takes time. Rambling can begin immediately.

Yeah, that might work.

Starts in the dark. Hear the narrator rambling, lost in his thoughts. Cuts to Being John Malkovich. That was an odd film too. Different sort of odd, though. That had sci-fi elements. Philosophical. This is philosophical too, but doesn’t have any sci-fi. Just kind of quirky. Same creators though. Spike Jonze directing. Charlie Kaufman writing. Three years later, 2002.


Malkovich looks surprisingly at ease in a frumpy dress.

Based on a book, sort of. The Orchid Thief. Never thought about floral poachers before. Hear the term “poacher”, think of poached deer, or animals killed to supply illegal Asian folk remedies. Don’t think of flowers. Apparently it happens though.

Kaufman was working on the screenplay. Apparently couldn’t figure it out. Decent story, but not enough there for a movie. Got frustrated. Thought about his frustration. Wrote himself into the script. (Is that weird? Yeah, it’s weird. Acknowledged in script though.) Wrote story about guy writing adaptation of The Orchid Thief. Story about himself. Called it Adaptation., pitched it that way instead.

I’m not typing the period anymore. It’s irritating.

Kaufman-in-the-movie is played by Nicolas Cage. Cage is good. Better than he usually is. Crazy, but he’s always crazy. But crazy in a way that works for the story. Cage also plays Charlie’s twin brother Donald. Donald doesn’t exist. Donald is real in the movie, but he’s not real in reality. Making up an identical twin, that’s a little weird. Lets Kaufman have conversations with himself, only not himself. Charlie is frustrated, bit of a loser. Donald is more easy-going. May still be a bit of a loser, but doesn’t care.

Should I put in another picture? I should put in another picture.


Nic Cage has bad hair. Nic Cage always has bad hair.

Part of the movie is about adapting the story. The other part is the story. The Orchid Thief. Story of the guy poaching orchids. Chris Cooper plays the thief. Friendly hillbilly sort. Cooper does really well. Wouldn’t know it was him. Meryl Streep plays the journalist writing about him. Susan Orlean, woman who wrote the book. Wonder what she thinks about the film? Fictionalized version of her. She doesn’t come off too well. Hope she has a good sense of humor. Main three actors all do great jobs. All got Oscar nominations. Cooper got his award. Streep and Cage didn’t. Old hat for Streep.

Wouldn’t expect a movie about flowers to be interesting. Wouldn’t expect a movie about writing a movie about flowers to be interesting. Movie is interesting anyway. Funny. Darkly funny, but funny. Bit of pathos. There’s got to be a better word than pathos, but I don’t know what it is. Emotional depth is close, but it’s cumbersome. Just as pretentious sounding too. Hard to talk about how a movie makes a person feel without it sounding pretentious. This movie is a thinker. Lot to think about in it. Mostly just fun to watch though.

And that’s kind of what Adaptation is like.

Rating: 4 Stars

About Morgan R. Lewis

Fan of movies and other media
This entry was posted in Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Adaptation.

  1. ckckred says:

    Nice review. I’m a big Charlie Kaufman fan and I love this ilm. If you haven’t, check out Eternal Sunshine and Being John Malkovich.

  2. CMrok93 says:

    So strange, yet, it works so damn well in a way that’s entertaining, twisty, and very emotional, especially by the end. Good review Morgan.

  3. Great flick. You’re right, its one that’s hard to explain, but it is a ton of fun. Great role for Meryl Streep, too. 😀

  4. I’ve never seen this movie and I like the way you paint the picture of it. I actually didn’t even know that Malkovich was in it.

    Nice review, Morgan.

  5. ruth says:

    Ahah, I haven’t reviewed this since I saw it a couple of yrs ago. It’s definitely odd. I don’t know think I hate it but it’s not something I want to see again. Good performance by Cage though, but that ending is just so… well, weird, ahah.

Leave a comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s