Thursday, December 4, 2008



Philip Seymour Hoffman: Theater director Caden Cotard
Catherine Keener: his wife Adele
Sadie Goldstein: their 4-year-old daughter Olive
Samantha Morton: Hazel, an employee of the theatre
Hope Davis: Dr. Madeleine Gravis, Caden’s therapist
and no doubt others I didn’t get to see

Let me be perfectly frank with you. I don’t get it.

I tried, believe me I really did by hanging in for an hour before I got up and left totally confused and no longer willing to try figuring it out. I’ll leave that to others.

In the meantime here are a few examples to test your skills.

The movie opens to the sound of the clock radio alarm. Caden is slow to get up, sitting on the edge of the bed listening to the weather forecaster who says it should be a lovely September day. When he gets to the breakfast table and picks up the paper the date is October 15. He then gets dressed and glances once more at the paper and now it’s November 5. He goes to have work done by his dentist and the calendar shows it to be March. OK we got serious time shift so where’s reality in all this? Or is there any?

Hazel sees a house on fire and enters it. She is then given a tour by the real estate agent who points out the salient features of the house while smoke and flame are much in evidence. OK that’s fantasy but what has it got to do with the rest of the story?

Caden answers his daughter’s question about the ugly blotches on his face by telling her it’s an inflammatory skin disorder called sycosis. The scene changes and his skin is perfectly fine. OK that’s a time-shift in the future but we soon find out that Olive has moved to Paris with her mother and Caden no longer has contact with her so how could this take place at all?

for offensive language, some sexual content and nudity.

Synecdoche (pronounced “sin-ECK-de-key”)
a figure of speech by which something is referred to indirectly, either by naming only some part of it (e.g. ‘hands’ for manual labourers) or by naming some more comprehensive entity of which it is a part (e.g. ‘the law’ for a police officer). Usually regarded as a special kind of metonymy, synecdoche occurs frequently in political journalism (e.g.‘Moscow’ for the Russian government) and sports commentary (e.g. ‘Liverpool’ for one of that city's football teams). Some other examples: saying fifty sail for fifty ships, saying society for high society, saying cutthroat for assassin, saying a creature for a man, saying boards for stage.

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