Charles Stuart "Charlie" Kaufman (born November 19, 1958) is an American screenwriter, producer, director, and lyricist. He wrote the critically acclaimed films Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He made his directing debut in 2008 with Synecdoche, New York, which was also well received; film critic Roger Ebert called it "the best movie of the decade" in 2009.
Kaufman is often praised for being deeply imaginative and original: Being John Malkovich stars John Malkovich as a fictional version of himself; Human Nature is mostly told in flashback; Adaptation tells the story of Kaufman himself, trying to write the film the viewer is watching and to understand the book from which it is adapted with the help of his twin brother Donald Kaufman (credited as a co-writer despite being a fictional character); Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind mainly takes place in the mind of the main character while his memory is erased; and Synecdoche, New York is a postmodern film with many complex non-realistic elements.
He has been nominated for three Academy Awards: twice for Best Original Screenplay for Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, winning the award for the latter, and Best Adapted Screenplay (with his fictional brother) forAdaptation. He also won two BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplays and one BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.