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lMovie Review
"Adaptation"
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 all. 
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.


 
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