(Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep / R / 114 mins / Columbia Pictures)
Overview:It's two odd stories in one. The plot follows the attempt of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) to adapt Susan Orlean's nonfiction novel The Orchid Thief for the big screen. As Kaufman tries to work with the book's true story — the tale of John Laroche (Chris Cooper), a Florida plant dealer who works with Seminole Indians to create clones of rare orchids, which he sells to collectors for huge profits — he nearly goes mad. Enter his fictional twin (also Cage), a more successful version of Charlie. Charlie finally manages to finish the script, finding that in the process, he's incorporated himself and his writer's block into the story. Meryl Streep plays Orlean.
Verdict:Following up on their existential black comedy 'Being John Malkovich,' writer Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze have one-upped themselves. Divinely nutty and heartfelt, 'Adaptation' is an extraordinarily clever comedy that unfortunately falters only in the last 20 minutes or so. Few scripts toss more challenging balls in the air, and Jonze juggles them all with artful, light-stepping ease, but sometimes watching 'Adaptation' evolve into something profound, if not entirely complete, is certainly beautiful to behold and whilst still hugely clever, is easily one of the best movies Hollywood has ever made about itself !
Reviewed by Russell A. Trunk