Synecdoche, New York
New York theatre director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) not only struggles with his health, but his relationship with his wife, artist Adele (Catherine Keener), is also very poor. The all time low seems to be reached when she leaves for Berlin, taking their daughter Olive with her. The tide turns when Cotard is awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, which allows him to realise his magnus opus; in an enormous warehouse, he has a large group of actors re-enact banal, everyday life in a setting that increasingly imitates the city outside. As the years go by, his health and mental state deteriorate, especially when he discovers that Adele has a very successful career as a painter of miniatures in Berlin.
Synecdoche is a linguistic figure of speech in which a part stands for the whole or vice versa. Director/screenwriter Charlie Kaufman plays with this on various levels, if only because Cotard's play increasingly wants to portray the whole, while Adele's paintings zoom in on the smallest parts.