1. Monday, February 3, 2003

    Dear Tony, 

    Unfortunately, I just read your review of Adaptation. I say unfortunate because I usually agree with your musings on pop culture, in general.

    It’s an odd feeling when you reach a point reading someone that you basically go there to read what they’ve written because it�s easy, nice and comforting to know that you agree with what’s there.

    Another oddity surrounding this film and my life is my best friend, D.C. trade policy geek, hated it too. Which was disappointing because he, like you, fancies himself a writer. Which I think you both are.

    Anyway, to get to my refutation… Adaptation was wonderful, as a film and as a script. First, you called the characters flat and said Streep and Cage were wasted. That’s total bullshit. Cage’s performance was outstanding and very under appreciated. During the “trick photography” moments when the brothers were side my side you could easily tell the twins apart just by looking at them. Cage completely transformed himself into these two characters. They were a beautiful living Yin Yang, an extension of

    their time en utero, that pulled and pushed and symbiotically made the other tick.

    And the fact that Cage pulled it off was impressive. Mind you, Cage�s last great acting performance, Las Vegas was followed by the Rock. The touching scene in the forest worked, too. I thought it was very ballsy to put a dramatic moment between two characters in the midst of a third act that had seemingly spiraled out of control.

    And Streep, sorry Tony but have you ever seen Streep look more beautiful, fuck it, Sexier! than in this movie? I love the intellectually/professionally confident woman who gives in to her girlish romantic fantasies and lives a forbidden life. How could you say she was wasted? She was totally sexed up, sniffing coke (or whatever) and running

    through a swamp with a gun. She cried, she wrote, she contemplated being trapped in a life that’s a lie and you called it “wasted.” God she was hot!

    I’ve never thought she was hot before Adaptation.

    Second, you attacked the believability of the film. I’m not going to spend much time on this. But I will say, you should know better than to discredited a film’s believability in order to give it a negative review. Since when does a film have to be realistic to be good?

    Third, lets talk about what this film is about and what Kaufman used to tell the story. If you’re looking for originality, look at the timeline’s structure. Awesome. I loved seeing the events happen and then seeing Charlie work them out into his story. The constant back and forth in time was very smooth and made me feel like we were all developing the story together.

    It�s a little tricky on the mind because even though we’ve already seen events in the script take place its fun to go along with Kaufman and put them down for the first time. Making two stories out of one and weaving it within and around itself was masterful. But what was Kaufman meditating on (when he wasn�t jacking off). The fear of the “Hollywood ending.”(not the Woody Allen story). The Hollywood style that plagues the artist in all of us. The goal to create something original and not compromised is a promised land most artists set out for each time they wake up.

    And, I believe, Kaufman achieved this goal by exposing the ridiculousness of the movie industry, his own paranoia and life’s smaller hardships by telling the first two acts in the artist’s voice and by switching into a �Hollywood� voice at the end. “You want your fucking cars chases, gun shots and blood?” Kaufman seemingly asks, “fine, I’ll deliver,” he responds. Once they kidnapped Charlie the movie loses all sense of rationality. And when Donald flies out the window, the movie may seem to follow but it doesn’t.

    Step back from the madness and remember what Charlie railed against during the whole process.

    Respectfully,

    Vincent

    oish