Friday, October 31, 2014

Maps to the Stars (2014)

Director: David Cronenberg
Writer:    Bruce Wagner
Cast:       Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, Evan Bird

A tour into the heart of a Hollywood family- chasing celebrity, one another and the relentless ghosts of their past. Benji (Evan Bird) and Havana (Julianne Moore) share the same agent and the former is a child actor in a studio franchise while the latter is an aging struggling actor. They are both thoroughly unlikable characters who have much in common. Their fate become more intertwined  as the film progresses the connections between all the characters become more and more apparent.

After targeting the wealthy 0.1% in 'Cosmopolis', Cronenberg is now aiming his gun at Hollywood, which he says is both seductive and repulsive at the same time. This is his first film to be shot in US in a career that has spanned almost fifty years so far. It can be described best a pitch dark comedy similar in lines to Todd Solondz' work. Instead of ordinary unlikable characters in his films like 'Happiness', here you have their counterparts from Hollywood. The performances from all concerned are excellent and it wouldn't be surprising if Julianne Moore gets her Oscar for this role. Evan Bird would intentionally remind you of Justin Bieber, Cronerberg's fellow Canadian. The title 'Maps to the Stars' refer to the ones that you get in LA with details of where the stars are living.

Cronenberg has never hid his disdain for Hollywood but that doesn't get in the way of the film because it is largely plot driven. That makes it a more accessible film when compared to 'Cosmopolis' but it won't be up everyone's alley. It is a very difficult film to describe but is certainly a must watch for Cronenberg fans as he continuously evolve even after hitting the 70s.

Rating: 4/5