Before graduating to the ranks of director with Synecdoche, New York
, Charlie Kaufman established himself as arguably the most talented screenwriter of his generation -- a fact that earned him the right to make his directorial debut as purposefully alienating as possible. The story concerns theater director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who, after winning the Macarthur genius grant, decides to stage an epic theatrical production about his life. His stated goal is to create something brutally honest, and to that end, he hires actresses who each bear a striking physical resemblance to the women he's loved. He then rehearses them to reenact actual argume...