Synecdoche, New York
Rating = B+
Several of the reviewers
said that you had to see this more than once to understand it. I
probably won't see it again, but I wonder if my rating would go up or
down after a second viewing.
A couple of sayings come to mind to summarize the themes of this
film. “The unexamined life is not worth living” comes to mind; but
what fits better is “examining life one finds, 'life's a bitch and
then you die'.” The story starts out in Schenectady, NY, and there
are many ways the “synecdoche” (si-neck-deh-kee) of the title might
be relevant: the New York town represents all towns, the main
characters life is representative of the lives of everyone, his stage
set is representative of all of New York, actors representing living
people, actors representing actors representing living people, ...
For such a puzzling (it would be easy to call it bizarre) movie, I was
surprised and appreciative that it kept me engaged throughout. The
acting is uniformly fine with a whole bunch of actresses we don't get
to see enough of, e.g., Catherine Keener, Michelle Williams, Samantha
Morton, Hope Davis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest.
The music of the film is quite wonderful.