Synecdoche, New York

Rated 4.0

Writer-director Charlie Kaufman delivers a film that will infuriate some and enthrall others. I’d categorize it with some of the great films, like The Fountain and Barton Fink, that speak about life and the mind in terms that are not specifically defined or concrete. Philip Seymour Hoffman portrays a play director who goes through the frustrations of middle age and senior years, and he’s also everybody around him. At first, it’s pretty confusing, but once you let the film play out without trying to figure it out, it makes complete and brilliant sense. It’s funny in a way that is also brutally painful, honest and scary. In Kaufman’s view, whether you are an acclaimed play director or a cleaning woman, your life, your anxieties, are essentially the same, and you are going to die soon. Not a party film by any means, but intelligent and original for sure.