A.O. Scott writes:
Mr. Kaufman, the wildly inventive screenwriter of "Being John Malkovich" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," has, in his first film as a director made those efforts look almost conventional. Like his protagonist, a beleaguered theater director played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, he has created a seamless and complicated alternate reality, unsettling nearly every expectation a moviegoer might have about time, psychology and narrative structure.
I'm getting the feeling that "Synecdoche" will end up like INLAND EMPIRE or Southland Tales. It will probably be to unconventional for any major Academy attention. A best director nod in the vein of David Lynch for Mulholland Drive may be its best shot. Then again, early reviews of There Will Be Blood said that film was too unconventional for the Acaedmy, and we know how that turned out.