Synecdoche, New York

Synopsis: Theater director Caden Cotard is mounting a new play. Fresh off of a successful production of Death of a Salesman, he has traded in the suburban blue-hairs and regional theater of Schenectady for the cultured audiences and bright footlights of Broadway. Armed with a MacArthur grant and determined to create a piece of brutal realism and honesty, something into which he can put his whole self, he gathers an ensemble cast into a warehouse in Manhattan's theater district. He directs them in a celebration of the mundane, instructing each to live out their constructed lives in a small mock-up of the city outside. As the city inside the warehouse grows, Caden's own life veers wildly off the tracks. The shadow of his ex-wife Adele, a celebrated painter who left him years ago for Germany's art scene, sneers at him from every corner. Somewhere in Berlin, his daughter Olive is growing up under the questionable guidance of Adele's friend, Maria. He's helplessly driving his marriage to actress Clai
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Charlie Kaufman
Production: Sydney Kimmel Entertainment
  8 wins & 28 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
124 min

- 7:
45 on this beautiful, almost balmy

22nd of September in Schenectady.

And it's the first day of fall.

So in honor of that fact,

we have Elke Putzkammer...

...professor of literature

at Union college... talk about autumn in poetry

and literature.

- Good morning, professor.

- Hi, Alex.

So, what about it? Why do

so many people write about the fall?

Well, I think it's seen

as the beginning of the end, really.

If the year is a life, then September,

the beginning of fall... when the bloom is off the rose

and things start to die.

It's a melancholy month and maybe

because of that, quite beautiful.

Is there something

you might read to us?

Oh, I'd love to.

Whoever has no house now

Will never have one.

Whoever is alone will stay alone

Will sit, read, write long letters

Through the evening

And wander the boulevards

Up and down, restlessly

While the dry leaves are blowing

Goodness, that harsh, isn't it?

Well, perhaps. But truthful.

Mommy, done.


- Good morning.

- Good morning.

- I tried not to wake you.

- Well, thanks.

You didn't. I just...

You know, I couldn't get up.

- Caden, can you get that?

- It's Maria, I don't want to.

- Caden... Oh, that's weird.

- Hey, it's me. How are you?

Mommy, is something wrong

with my poop?

No, honey, it's just green.

You probably ate something green.

I didn't. What's wrong with me?

I have to get that, Olive.

You're gonna be fine, okay?

- But, Mommy...

- Yeah, I'll be right back, Olive.

Oh, nothing.

Just wiping Olive's ass. You?

- An earthquake in Kashmir...

- Oh, you're kidding. Holy f***.

...has killed an estimated 73,000...

- I don't feel well.

Oh, my goodness.

- March in Washington, D.c., today,

October 15th.

- Harold Pinter died.

- Well, he's old, right?

- No, wait. He won the Nobel Prize.

- Mom.

- What, honey?

- Do you need to look at my poop?

- You sure it's all right?

- It's fine, Olive. Just flush.

What if it's alive? What if I kill it?

- It's green like plants.

- It's not alive, honey.

Remember the production of

The Dumb Waiter I did at Albanyfest?

Have your oatmeal, honey.

- I want peanut butter and jelly.

- You said oatmeal.

- This isn't a restaurant.

- I don't want oatmeal.

- Okay. Fine.

- Mommy, I'm sorry.

They found avian flu in Turkey.

In the country Turkey, not turkeys.

- Can I watch TV till school?

- In some chickens. Yeah.

There is a secret something at play

under the surface...

...growing like an invisible virus

of thought.

But you're being changed by it...

- Milk's expired.

- Okay.


- You better eat this.

- I will.


How did I guess

you'd ask me that question?

Happy Halloween, Schenectady.

And how long have you been

in New York for?

The first black graduate

of the University of Alabama died.

Vivian Malone Jones.

Stroke, 63.


God! Somebody! Adele, help!

- Jesus, Caden, what the f***?

- I was shaving and the thing flew off!

Oh, my God!

Jesus, look at your head.

Oh, sh*t.

Oh, God, I can't turn it.

Oh, wait.

- Mommy, Daddy has blood.

- Yeah.

- Will there be a scar?

- Probably. It looks like a mud flap.

- I prefer there not to be a scar.

- Yeah.

That fellow is annoying.

He's in here every week,

like clockwork.

There. I think that should...

Let's see.

- What?

- Change in bowel movements?

It's a little more yellow than usual.


Yeah, I'd like you to see

an ophthalmologist.

- A neurologist?

- What? No.

An ophthalmologist.

I said, ophthalmologist.

Do you hear that?


And today is Tuesday.

Mommy, is today Tuesday?

No, honey, today is Friday.

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Charlie Kaufman

Charles Stuart "Charlie" Kaufman (born November 19, 1958) is an American screenwriter, producer, director, and lyricist. He wrote the films Being John Malkovich (1999), Adaptation (2002), and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). He made his directorial debut with Synecdoche, New York (2008), which was also well-received; film critic Roger Ebert named it "the best movie of the decade" in 2009. It was followed by Anomalisa (2015). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Synecdoche, New York" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Nov. 2023. <,_new_york_19270>.

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