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Director: Spike Jonze, Spike Jonze
2002 / 114min / DCP
Tasked with writing a screenplay based on Susan Orlean’s non-fiction bestseller The Orchid Thief, angst-ridden screenwriter Charlie Kaufman embarks on a voyage to solve the myriad problems in both his art and life—most pressingly, his bonehead brother Donald’s invasion of his home. A head-spinning film that attempts far more than should be possible in two hours and somehow pulls it all off, Jonze’s film is a deeply-felt portrayal of anxiety and insecurity, a meta-commentary on the codified rules of screenwriting, an exploration of “adaptation” in all its forms, an actor’s vehicle for a top-form Nicholas Cage (playing both Kaufmans), Meryl Streep (as Orlean), and Chris Cooper, and a disarmingly moving and genuinely enthralling yarn.