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SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK
USA: Sony Pictures Classics
UK: Revolver Entertainment
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hope Davis, Tom Noonan, Sadie Goldstein, Robin Weigert, Daniel London, Robert Seay, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Frank Girardeau, Paul Sparks, Jerry Adler, Lynn Cohen, Dierdre O'Connell, Daisy Tahan, William Ryall, Christopher Evan Welch, Timothy Doyle
Director: Charlie Kaufman
USA: 124 mins
UK: 123 mins
USA Rated: R for language and some sexual content/nudity
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language, sex references and nudity
USA Release Date: 24 October 2008 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 15 May 2009 (Limited Release)
SYNECDOCHE [Sih-NECK-doh-kee] - noun
A figure of speech in which:
A Part is used for the Whole
The Screen for Movies
A Whole stands for a Part
The Law for Police
A Species (specific kind)
stands for its Genus (general kind)
Cutthroats for Assassins
A Genus stands in for its Species
Creature for Person
A Material stands for a Thing
Ivories for Piano Keys
Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a regional theatre director but his life is looking pretty bleak at the moment. His wife Adele (Catherine Keener) has left him to pursue her painting in Berlin, taking their young daughter Olive (Sadie Goldstein) with her. His therapist, Madeleine Gravis (Hope Davis), is better at plugging her bestseller than she is at counselling him. A new relationship with the alluringly candid Hazel (Samantha Morton) has prematurely run aground. Last but not least a mysterious condition is systematically shutting down each of his autonomic functions, one by one.
Worried about the transience of his life, he leaves his home behind. He gathers an ensemble cast into a warehouse in New York City, hoping to create a work of brutal honesty. He directs them in a celebration of the mundane, instructing each to live out their constructed lives in a growing mockup of the city outside.
However, the textured tangle of real and theatrical relationships blurs the line between the world of the play and that of Caden's own deteriorating reality, as Caden buries himself deeper into his masterpiece. He increasingly pushes the limits of his relationships, both personally and professionally, until a change in creative direction arrives in Millicent Weems (Dianne Wiest), a celebrated theater actress who may offer Caden the break he needs.
SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK is the directorial debut of Academy AwardŽ Winner Charlie Kaufman and premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival 2008.