Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Synecdoche, New York (2008/Sony DVD)

Synecdoche, New York (2008/Sony DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Film: C



Charlie Kaufman has beat the “postmodernism 101” thing out to death in his initial feature films, so in Synecdoche, New York (2008) tries to do a troubled relationship story with some cleverness without going as bonkers on the time/space plane.  For the record, Synecdoche is pronounced “Sih-NEC-doh-kee” and one of the hooks to see the film was to get people to learn this.  However, Kaufmann should have been concerned with other ideas.


Philip Seymour Hoffman is a father and theater director whose life is slowly getting worse.  He has a daughter, wife, two mistresses, a nerve condition and age is catching up with him in odd ways.  During all this, he is making a replica of all of New York for an epic play he is working on, but it suddenly becomes much more.  It is an interesting idea, but becomes more tied up in eccentricity than actually developing into something new and different.


It becomes repetitive to its disadvantage and despite the fine performances from a cast including Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hope Davis, Tom Noonan and (again!) Catherine Keener, the film just cannot overall hold it together.  The result is Kaufmann expressing things only he understands, more ideas than complete thoughts and a film with the most potential of anything Kaufmann has penned yet.  Too bad it is fragmented beyond his control.  Ironic distance anyone?


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is good and consistent, but Director of Photography Frederick Elmes, A.S.C., creates some interesting shots that help make this more watchable.  Bet this looks better on Blu-ray.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is not bad, but dialogue-based and is sometimes not as well mixed as I would have liked.  Extras include screen animations and four featurettes.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com