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Just like you could expect from Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze, this is a very unique and unusual movie. It's unlike anything else, since it blends fiction with reality and features such an odd concept, that no other film-maker would had had the guts to actually turn this into a movie.

It's like the movie itself is actually being made in this movie. It's about writer's Charlie Kaufman difficulties as a writer and about his attempts to turn a best selling novel, about flowers, into an actual screenplay. Instead of doing so, Kaufman came up with this movie, which is about his difficulties to come up with a screenplay for the novel. It's not like the movie is being an accurate portrayal of his writing process but instead it's an entirely fictionalized story, with even a fictionalize twin brother, Donald Kaufman, in it. Sounds too confusing? Don't worry, when watching this movie things will get much clearer to you.

It might have a complex and weird premise but the way it plays out is actually very easy and accessible to follow. It's probably because the movie is such an intriguing watch, with its far from flawless characters and its originality. It has a great style and way of film-making to it, in which the story is actually being told quite slowly and subtle but the movie itself is always, pleasantly, fast paced.

The movie is beautifully portraying the struggles of a writer. He gets stuck in a creative process, which is driving him into madness and desperation. But it was not like he was a very stable character to begin with. Nicolas Cage, as Charlie Kaufman, plays his character as a real loser, who is balding and having too many pounds on his belly. He's awful around women and way too shy and restrained than is good for him. It's really great to see how much Nicolas Cage put into his role. For the first and only time ever(?) he is not afraid to show his balding head on the screen. His acting even earned him an Oscar nomination.

But the movie is filled with many great actors. I actually had no idea how many great ones are in it beforehand. Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Brian Cox, these are all really some of my favorite actors. It's further more also starring the likes of Maggie Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton, among others. In other words; a real solid cast!

But obviously none of them would had been as great if it wasn't for Charlie Kaufman's writing. The real Charlie Kaufman that is, not the movie one. In more than one way, this really is foremost his movie. A title for this movie also easily could had been "Being Charlie Kaufman". I also think it's quite awesome how the fictional twin brother Donald Kaufman also received writing credits for this movie and even was nominated for an Oscar, along with his 'brother' Charlie. An example of how fiction and reality gets mixed brilliantly by this movie.

Perhaps not as brilliant, weird and intriguing as "Being John Malkovich" but all in all, a more than successful second collaboration between Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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