Best Adapted Screenplay
2003 wins: New York Film Critics, Boston Society of Film Critics, Florida Film Critics, Toronto Film Critics, San Diego Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics.
Oscar pedigree: Nomination: “Being John Malkovich” (1999)
Kaufman on writing “Adaptation”: “I honestly did not think this movie would ever see the light of day. I didn’t think this movie was going to get made. Putting myself in the (script) was a really hard thing to do. I wouldn’t have done it if I had some distance from it. I wouldn’t have set out to do it.”
What we said: “Ingeniously, then, Kaufman has written an illuminating and entertaining film that at least purports to be about the very process he went through trying to write an adaptation of ‘The Orchid Thief.’ Ironically, the only place it stumbles is in its self-conscious attempt to follow the ‘rules’ of well-structured screenwriting by providing a conventional action ending that metes fates upon two of the characters that seem cruel and unusual in context. ” — Todd McCarthy (Nov. 11)
What the others said: “What a bewilderingly brilliant and entertaining movie this is: a confounding story about orchid thieves and screenwriters, elegant New Yorkers and scruffy swamp rats, truth and fiction. ‘Adaptation’ is a movie that leaves you breathless with curiosity, as it teases itself with the directions it might take. “ — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
This could be the night: Pic gets under the skin of the screenwriting process and has many fans in the Acad.
Then comes the rub: Kaufman’s aloofness may cause a problem for some.