Movie #17 2020: Synecdoche, New York (2008)

*I apologise in advance for all of the foul language in this review… except I don’t, because it deserves it.*

Ah, Philip Seymour Hoffman. What a brilliant actor he was.

Just a shame that he got pulled into this pretentious bollocks.

I watched Synecdoche, New York after reading so many brilliant reviews about it. Turns out they were mostly written by a bunch of dudes who were masturbating into their own cups of coffee because they felt they had to like this movie because it was “deep”.

There’s a running motif in this movie where there’s a house on fire. What? I genuinely can’t even tell you what that’s about. I feel like I need a degree in film theory and metaphor to understand what the fuck was going on here. Maybe this movie was aimed at bourgeois New Yorkers who understand that sort of shit and I’m just not one of those people.

Actually, there was one scene that slightly redeemed this movie for me, even though it continued to be an utter mindfuck. The only way to describe it is that Michelle Williams plays herself in a scene but is also playing her character, Hazel… Whilst the real Hazel looked on at the scene and then the actress playing Hazel walked on the set. If that sentence confused you, imagine how confused you’d be actually watching it. Despite the confusion, I did find myself entertained briefly while my brain exploded all over the wall as a result.

There were a couple of gags in Synecdoche that were brilliant pieces of black comedy, but at the same time, I felt bad laughing at it. Was I meant to laugh? Is it okay to laugh at this shit? Am I a bad person for laughing? Fuck knows. I don’t have a clue what to say or how to feel, I am genuinely baffled.

Although it’s an interesting concept and the performances were excellent by the entire cast, this whole movie is just too pretentious for me. And I’m pretty good at handling pretentiousness in movies. Give this one a miss and watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind instead.

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