The Art of Adaption

‘By simply doing what they are designed to do, something large and magnificence happens in this sense, they show us how to live, and that the only barometer you have is your heart.’

I recently watched the 2002 film, Adaption. I don’t remember paying much attention to it when it first came out, but then again I have always liked the idea that sometimes, books and movies come to you at just the right time. If it’s not the right time, you won’t be moved,but if it is, then it’s quite magical. A chord will strike and give you great pleasure. You get to enjoy one of those moments where you say yes! That’s exactly right!

Adaption is the story of a screenwriter briefed with the task of adapting a book into a movie. In the process, he writes himself into his script and the story becomes a story not about the book, but about his challenges adapting it. However, embedded in this film is also a lovely message about plants and what they can teach us – not just about adaption, but living our lives.

The story focuses on an orchid thief – this is the man who is the subject of the original book. Chris Cooper is fantastic in the role of John Laroche, and he also gets the best lines. He gets to give Meryl Streep, who is playing the role of the journalist writing the book, a fascinating and inspiring lecture on the wonder of pollination. 

Watch the ‘Spot Your Flower’ extract from Adaption 

Featuring Chris Cooper and Meryl Streep, this is one of my favourite bits of cinema ever!

“There’s a certain orchid that looks exactly like a certain insect, and the insect is drawn to this flower – it’s double, it’s soul-mate. It wants nothing more than to make love to it. And after the insect flies off, it spots another soul mate flower and makes love to it, thus pollinating it. And neither the flower nor the insect will never understand the significance of their lovemaking. I mean, how could they know that because of their little dance, the world lives?

By simply doing what they are designed to do, something large and magnificence happens in this sense, they show us how to live, and that the only barometer you have is your heart. When you spot your flower, you can’t let anything get in your way.”

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This article wes featured in Edition 4 of Earthed Interiors, featuring my ‘Audacity of the Jungle’ original painting. Shop the painting here and read the magazine here – and don’t forget to subscribe to get Earthed delivered straight to your mailbox!

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Monday in the Garden fine art print by Jordan Harcourt-Hughes