IHAO on ... Adaptation.

With all the talk of Spike Jonze's Her for Best Picture this year, I went through my stack of "owned but haven't watched yet"s and pulled out Adaptation. to give it a go.  Now, this is gonna be a different film than Her, considering Her is Spike Jonze written and directed and Adaptation. is a Charlie Kauffman written film, but they are general collaborators and ... you know, all this preamble doesn't really add much, since I got some things to say that will probably make a few people unhappy.

I do not like Meryl Streep.  I find her to be hammy and unbelievable.  In everything she does.  To be fair, I have not seen her oldest stuff, but everything I see since I started collecting films 10 years ago, I cannot stand her.  And this film is no exception.  Her drug binge sequence was painfully boring and unbelievable, made all the worse by the incredible performance by Chris Cooper (Oscar winning performance, I should add).  Chris Cooper was a delight, and really did a great job.

But really, all praise to Nicolas Cage here.  He played two characters who always felt like they were onscreen together, were always believable, and were always distinct.  That is very very hard to do.  And he did amazingly.  How he didn't win for Best Actor here I could not even begin to guess, because Brody's the Pianist was nowhere near as believable or difficult of a role.

This scene in particular was COMPLETELY unbelievable.

There's no two ways around this, I did not like the writing in this movie.  I did not like the meta-narrative on top of meta-narrative on top of meta-narrative.  A film about the writing of a film about the writing of a film about the writing of a film ... ugh.  Now, the actual character stuff, the journey Cage's Charles and Andy go on, that was awesome stuff to watch.  But the actual conceit of the film, pointing out how voiceovers are dumb and then not doing them anymore, or "don't you dare use a Deux ex Machina" and then that is what happens, I really hated all of that.  It got in the way of what was really an intriguing character study, and killed the emotional impact of the climax.  I've become an easy crier, and I loved these characters, but I just was not invested any longer because of the writing format.  I appreciate what was trying to be done, and in theory I see the appeal, but I feel that what was gained ended up being pretty lackluster at best and ruined what was a very strong lead acting performance and interesting character arc(s).

Grade: C-; Cage's and Cooper's performance A+

1 comment:

  1. I can't read the name of the critic who was quoted on the poster you have above but I really can't agree with him/her. There was a lot of truly great stuff in this movie that eventually spun out of control and made a big mess like clay off a potter's wheel. It's sad really because I completely agree about Cage and Cooper's performances.