At some point a third of the way into Charlie Kaufman's new film "Synecdoche, New York," Hazel, brilliantly played by Samantha Morton, goes to a house she proposes to rent (buy?) with a real-estate agent. They discuss its merits and demerits, never mentioning that the place is on fire, with flames leaping about and smoke filling every room. Whenever we revisit Hazel in her house, the flames are crackling away, but the house hasn't burned down and no one says anything. Eventually, after she ages with fantastic verisimilitude, she dies. Smoke inhalation, someone speculates idly. Otherwise, never any indication of why, never the slightest surprise. The fire just is.