|By Mira Harber
Adaptation, directed by Spike Jonze, and supposedly co-written
by Charlie and Donald Kaufmann is quirky and brilliant. Jonze and Kaufmann
are the men who brought us the delightful film Being John Malkovitch several
years ago. Adaptation is ostensibly about a successful writer, Charlie
Kaufmann, who is battling with himself and his own inner demons as he struggles
to write a screenplay based on the Susan Orlean book The Orchid Thief.
Charlie has a verbose, uncomplicated, untalented twin brother Donald (both
brilliantly played by Nicholas Cage) whose sole goal is to write a blockbuster
screenplay - complete with every cliché in the book, which he then
sells for a million dollars.
This is movie about the creative process, orchid thieves,
murder, lust and drugs, to name a few topics - it's pretty much got it
Chris Cooper is wonderful as the stringy haired, toothless
orchid thief who manages to nonetheless be both fascinating and attractive
to the writer Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep).
The unexpected, challenging and startling ways that all
of these characters come together is an absolute delight, beginning to
end. Adaptation is definitely on my Top Ten Movie List, maybe even the
Best Movie of 2002. If you can only see one movie this long, cold winter,
let Adaptation be the one.