Movie Analysis: Adaptation

Topics: Susan Orlean, John Laroche, Meryl Streep Pages: 3 (912 words) Published: December 15, 2011
Jessica Layton
HUMS 250 Fall 2011
November 8, 2011

Throughout this paper I will be analyzing a scene from the movie Adaptation. The movie is based around the character Charlie Kaufman and his struggle to write a screen play for the book “The Orchid Thief,” written by the character Susan Orlean. This movie shows us Charlie writing the screenplay, while it also shows Susan writing the book, through the use of flashbacks. We learn through interviews in the movie, that a man named John Laroche, the man who owned the orchid nursery, inspired the book. In this scene, John and Susan are speaking on the phone about what happened to John’s nursery. We learn that a car accident has killed his mother and uncle and put his wife in a coma. When she awoke, she divorced him and as “karma” for what happened, a hurricane came and destroyed everything and wiped out all of his orchids. This scene has many different elements that bring the whole scene together so that you really feel and understand the emotions and significance of the story.

This clip is full of many different emotions and uses different lighting to portray those feelings. During the flashback, we see the use of natural light. The car acts as a reflector board, softening the lighting on the characters as they back out of the driveway. As John and Susan speak to one another, we notice that the lighting in their rooms is very soft and low-key. This kind of lighting for this shot portrays the seriousness and tragic emotions of this scene. Susan’s lighting is located behind her and very soft. The soft lighting is used to focus the attention on the character making everything around her out of focus. Having the lighting in the back of Susan creates depth in the shot, separating her from her surroundings and accentuating her. When the shot moves to John, we see the location of the light is from above. While he is answering Susan’s question, the angle of the camera...
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