Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a brilliant theater director who doesn't understand his own life. Through health scares, a crumbling marriage, a successful career and unsuccessful love, he can't stop thinking about death; its suddenness, its tragedy, its speedy approach.
The film follows Caden as he labors for decades to understand life via his art. It explores the human relationship with death and all its hard-to-face reality. The film recalls so many anxieties; maybe the disease that kills you is already in your body; maybe the house you just moved into is the house you die in; maybe you die unfulfilled, loveless, scared, unfinished, just as confused as you are now.
Synecdoche, New York is a philosophical, postmodernist film, one that transcends character and story to represent an experience of life that every person can relate to. It strikes at the soul of the viewer and sticks there, forcing you to dwell on these topics just as the characters in the film do. It's a film that takes your deepest fears and puts them on the screen.
After all, it is about you.