Before talking about "Maps to the Stars", I have to say that, two years ago, I had already seen and deeply appreciated David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis": this particular movie, as its ideal sequel, represent not only, as many people may suggest, a critic towards the Hollywood society, but a consideration about a larger group of people. People afflicted by an attitude of alienation, that is taking a distance from themselves in order to reach qualities or values imposed, often not manifestly but in a rather faint way, by society. The protagonist of Cosmopolis is in fact a <more>
rich young man even his tender age could be meaningful who completely embodies a certain role and a certain stereotype, and who, therefore, has completely lost himself, insofar as he cannot create solid relationships with anybody anymore. Maps to the Stars includes and, at the same time, goes beyond this matter: being probably influenced by Sigmund Freud's theories about childhood traumas and their long-term consequences, Cronenberg depicts a society full of neurotic individuals, who, though adult, still have to deal with past events and are deeply influenced by them. Ironically, all the children in the movie, who may have the possibility to live a different existence from their parents' one, are destroyed by the faults of the latter. Thus giving birth to a vicious circle which ends with no less than a conclusion as much pessimistic as striking: an act of liberation not to spoiler anything at all of two main characters. The wonderful poem "Liberté" by Paul Éluard, as a matter of fact, echoes across the entire movie, as much in the words of the characters as in a fading kind of way, like a "fil rouge" that represent both the other face of the corrupted society and an escape to it as well. As far as the technical sphere is concerned, cinematography and music play a fundamental role in determining a quite distorted vision of reality, insofar as they may as well represent the psychology of characters itself: cold colours and a peacefully rhythmic air create an atmosphere of strangeness that vibrates into the depths of the spectator's mind, making the latter fall into a sort of constant hypnosis. Hypnosis that could last until the very end of the movie. As it may be already clear, I deeply recommend watching this movie, in theaters especially - given its majestic technical qualities. Nevertheless, I have to say that, also being a "Palme d'Or" nominated movie, Maps to the Stars is not recommendable for people who are looking for a funny and simple movie: Cronenberg's critic is not comparable to a Woody-Allen kind of irony - although I really love his one as well - but it is a more serious and interpretive one.
"Maps to the Stars" is audacious and amazingly divisive - it's like some satirical, Greek tragedy, soap opera/sit com from hell. The film has brilliant acting all around, especially Julianne Moore and Mia Wasikowska last seen together in "The Kids Are Alright" and some people will find it masterful and darkly funny, others will find it repellent all those reactions are understandable . "Maps" is definitely disturbing - the ghoulishness of the characters may be too much for some, but I found it compelling, sad, and impossible to ignore. David Cronenberg <more>
doesn't make films for the faint of heart, and Bruce Wagner's script drips venom while deftly embedding celestial and Dharmic law . Movies that dissect Hollywood have obviously been done before, but this one is about more than Hollywood Heart of Darkness , and it may require more than one viewing to pick up all the threads and to connect all the "Stars" that individually burn and implode, but that when viewed from some distance, form a greater constellation.
This film is a feast for Cronenberg-Fans and I loved it. Yeah, Hollywood. I worked there for a while and then I quit because I thought it was insane. David Cronenberg surely seems to feel the same way. This is a good story with a fluid script, beautiful filming and great actors. Lots of industry-talk yes, they really do talk that way and all the stress, the pushing for success, the attention needed at all cost and the eagerness to do anything it takes to get there are greatly told. As well as all the bad things even a small success can do to people.The story is mainly about a family in <more>
Cronenberg-condition, meaning they are really messed up and totally unpredictable, way beyond mental sanity. The irony is that in this insane Hollywood environment that appears to be quite normal, and inevitably it generates a great body-count. Of course, Dad is a shrink and bestselling author. He doesn't seem to do a great job at home, though, as his 13 year old child-star-son is in drug rehab and his daughter was just released from a mental institution and is on a 12-steps-program. Mom is way out there and sometimes it gets hilarious indeed.The end is almost poetic and a fitting conclusion to all the madness going on.Applause to Julianne Moore for her outstanding performance.The only thing that I found not necessary was the overly explicit sex- scene.
87% A warped or is it? look into modern day wealthy Hollywood life that is filled with rotten to the core characters, and some really uncomfortable subject matters that mixes a perfect cocktail of both dark satire and horror. The film switches focus constantly throughout between the multiple leads, with Julianne Moore stealing the show with the finest performance I have ever seen of her as a morally backward ageing star with a heap of baggage and multiple mental health issues. While Mia Wasikowska plays one of the more memorable characters of the year. The film is quite script heavy and <more>
it really is something that requires the fullest attention to properly take in and appreciate everything it has to offer as the plot cleverly zig-zags between the interlocking characters both on and off screen. Old master Cronenberg really has created a jet black horror/comedy drama to be considered among the finest, even if it won't be for everyone, but I thought it was pretty great.
A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: David Cronenberg's scathing satire on Hollywood (by murtaza_mma)
Written for the screen by Bruce Wagner, Maps to the Stars is essentially a scathing satire on Hollywood—an ideal microcosm of the entertainment industry as a whole in the Western world—that showcases the dark side of the Tinsel town which often gets occluded by the shimmering facade of glitz and glamour. The movie stars Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson , Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon and Evan Bird in pivotal roles. Maps to the Stars premiered in competition for the coveted Palme d'Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where Moore won the Best Actress <more>
Award.Maps to the Stars revolves around an aging actress in the twilight of her acting career. Havana Segrand is both rich and famous but is haunted by the memories of her actress mother, Clarice Taggart played by Sarah Gadon , who died in a fire accident. Havana's only hope to revive her fast fading career is to star in the remake of the 1960s motion picture that had made her mother a cult symbol. Having lived all her life in her mother's shadow, Havana seems caught in some kind of a Freudian complex wherein she imagines herself to be a victim of her mother's sexual abuse as the visions of her mother's ghost continue to torment her psychologically. Havana takes psychiatric help of Dr. Stafford Weiss who is a new age therapist and self-help guru with a large clientele of high-profile celebrities. Stafford's ambitious wife Cristina played by Olivia Williams manages the career of their thirteen-year-old celebrity son Benjie—the child star of the teenage comedy blockbuster titled "Bad Babysitter". In other words, the Weiss family is an archetypal Hollywood dynasty. But, the family has a few dark secrets which it must guard to keep its impeccable reputation intact.In Maps to the Stars, Cronenberg, in his characteristic fashion, creates a dark, sinister, almost nightmarish world oozing with the malice, cruelty and hypocrisy of the highly ambitious but insecure and jealous beings that inhabit it. In painting such a sombre canvas, Cronenberg perhaps seems to be testing his own limits. Maps to the Stars also marks Cronenberg's much-anticipated as far as his hardcore fans are concerned return to the horror genre after a hiatus of almost three decades. While Maps to the Stars cannot really be classified as pure horror, there are a few sequences in the movie that may put some of the goriest scenes in cinema to shame. One of Cronenberg's greatest talents is his ability to spot the right actors for his roles and elicit singular performances from each one of them. In Maps to the Stars, Cronenberg manages to extract a nigh perfect performance from Julianne Moore. Moore is undoubtedly one of the most talented actresses of our generation but unfortunately the last half-a-decade hasn't been very productive for her. But, vintage Cronerberg, Moore is back with a bang! As the washed-up Havana Segrand, she is a sight to behold. Perhaps, the best way to describe Havana is as a mellow version of Norma Desmond. If Cronenberg and team can somehow secure a short theatrical run for the film in the US by the end of the year, it will more or less guarantee an Oscar nomination for Moore—her fifth, overall, but first in over a decade.While the real star of the show is Julianne Moore, the acting all around is quite solid. Speaking of other actors, Robert Pattinson plays his part with minimal effort but great conviction. Pattinson certainly has come a long way since his Twilight Saga days. Also, it's heartening to see John Cusack try his hands at something as different as this; he makes the part of Dr. Weiss his own. Mia Wasikowska once again plays the part of a psychotic teenager to perfection; but, it's somewhat worrying to see a young female talent get typecast in such a way. While Olivia Williams and Sarah Gadon fit their respective roles to a tee, the young Evan Bird shines as Benjie Weiss—a part that seems greatly inspired by one Justin Bieber.While there's nothing new about the subject matter, it is the treatment of subject that makes Maps to the Stars stand out. We do witness the old motifs but the perspective is quite fresh. The Hollywood that's on display here is quite different. It's a place where child prodigies are a common occurrence. For these talented little parvenus anyone aged 23 or above is menopausal. Maps to the Stars mocks the hollowness that's slowly engulfing our world. Showbiz is most susceptible to this vacuum of human emotions propagated by the all-pervasive insecurity, hypocrisy, and mediocrity that plague the life of modern man. Incest and murder are two of the major themes that run through Maps to the Stars. But, in a nihilistic setting, they appear rather innocuous and as natural as breathing.Overall, Maps to the Stars is a riveting work of cinematic that serves as a testament to the genius of an artist working at the height of his creative powers. Hollywood is mostly perceived as some kind of a utopia for honest artists but the reality is much grimmer. As hyper as Cronenberg's film may appear in its depiction of the Tinsel town, it's not very far away from reality. In Maps to the Stars, there's not a single character that's likable. We may pity them but it's quite difficult to like them. Maps to the Star, like all Cronenberg films, is not an easy film to watch, especially for the uninitiated. The movie requires not only patience but also composure and is strictly recommended for serious viewers only.A more in-depth review of the film can be read at:http://www.apotpourriofvestiges.com/
Maps to the Stars is about the aspects of Hollywood that, as a film fan, I'd rather not think about (by Hawkensian)
Written by the acerbic Bruce Wagner, Maps to the Stars is about the cynicism of the entertainment industry, about the actors who are motivated by vanity and the money-minded executives who exploit them. These people's heads have been long removed from their shoulders, their molly-coddled lives are run by other people as they incessantly try and top up their serotonin through drink, drugs, sex and bastardised spiritualism with increasingly less success. It has been called 'narratively unwieldy' by the 'tomato-meter', and the events in the latter stages of the film are <more>
certainly dramatic and in quick succession, however Maps to the Stars is a great, grotesque satire from David Cronenberg, who could also be described in such terms!Julianne Moore is brilliantly unhinged and crude as Havana Segrand, a deeply warped, neurotic actress who's haunted by the vivid apparition of her actress mother Clarice Taggart Sarah Gadon who died in a fire. When she's isolated in her large home, she's never far away from a breakdown, and we see her experience particularly wayward instability as she obsesses over securing the lead role in the remake of a film her mother starred in. Havana has expired her Hollywood leading lady shelf-life, however she's desperate to be at the forefront of the business and in the process has ground herself down into a drug addled, hallucinating mess. Havana's manipulative conversations with colleagues makes for awkward viewing, she fawns at a moment's notice, even with people who privately drive her into psychotic episodes.Evan Bird is very good as Benjie, a child star who is often obnoxious but really a product of his clearly unhealthy environment. He is introduced to us in a hospital room as he visits a young terminally ill fan with Hodgkins Lymphoma; when presented with such misery he deals with it the only way he knows how by arranging for her to be given an iPad. After this he has a brief argument with his adult assistant, the sweary exchange is concluded with Benjie calling him a 'Jew faggot'.His sometimes vulgar, churlish exterior belies a rather precocious character with an articulacy that's beyond his years. Even when he's unpleasant he's not entirely loathsome, his language is so gratuitous that it was almost comical, especially when expressing his unashamed contempt for the sycophants around him. I suppose he was hard to take seriously owing to his elongated neck and sloped, pre-pubescent shoulders.Agatha Mia Wasikowska is a timid, unusual young woman who, with multiple burns across her body, is destined to fail in the industry. She's in Los Angeles after corresponding with Carrie Fisher on Twitter, and Agatha soon finds herself being interviewed for the position of 'chore whore' for Havana. It is here that her burns actually help her odds in Hollywood, as the injuries remind Havana of her mother. It eventually arises that Agatha is in the city to 'make amends', unravelling a twisted cauldron of lies and incest.John Cusack is also well cast as Stafford Weiss, the self-help charlatan father of Benjie who is made very creepy by Cusack's dark, dead eyes and blank expression. His wife is Christina Olivia Williams , a woman bereft of any charisma who spends much of her time posturing anxiously with a cigarette in her hand.Unlike Cosmopolis, Robert Pattinson's character Jerome Fontana, a shy limo driver with ambitions of being an actor/screenwriter, is strictly a supporting one. In a film full of freaks, Jerome is the ordinary Hollywood wannabe, the one with which we can most relate to. However it appears his foray into this glitzy, red carpeted hell is in its infancy, he mentions to Agatha early in the film, albeit half-heartedly, that he's considering Scientology for better career prospects, which is an amusing dig at both fad culture and that absurd, unsettling religion.I'm not sure what to make of the film's final act, everything goes awry for the characters in a manner that is perhaps too fast and too crazy. I tried to get the measure of the aberrance and the immorality upon leaving the cinema, I wondered whether Maps to the Stars was grounded in much reality, I then remembered Natalie Wood, the Black Dahlia, Elliot Rodger and the myriad other of Hollywood's victims, pill- poppers and prima donnas.81%www.hawkensian.com
Cronenberg ignites a magnificent film with passion and humor... (by ClaytonDavis)
Probably the weirdest monster you'll come across this year, David Cronenberg's Map to the Stars is an odd animal full of wit, charm, and pure entertainment value. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but for those who love rich and layered characters, Cronenberg takes on Hollywood with zeal and humor. Some may classify the attempt as "mean," but no different from what Martin Scorsese brought to the table with The Wolf of Wall Street, a black comedy with a much deeper message is fully on display.Bruce Wagner's script is a masterclass of writing. He finds all unique <more>
characters within our social existences and assembles them with stunning resolve. It's hard to believe the guy who wrote "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors" could be capable of such a feat. We also get a subtle score by Howard Shore and stunning contemporary costumes by Denise Cronenberg. Not since The Devil Wears Prada has fashion felt like a separate character piece on a contemporary film set.With no short of brilliance, the entire cast ignites some of their finest and most compelling works of their careers. It starts obviously with another powerhouse turn by four-time Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore. As "Havana Segrand," an actress dying for a big comeback, Moore illustrates her most vibrant and fruitful interpretation since "Cathy Whitaker" in Far from Heaven. Ferocious, daring, and completely involved, there's no other actress like Julianne Moore on this cinematic planet. Too good for words.Everything seemed to finally click for actress Mia Wasikowska in her most daring performance to date. A ticking time bomb of emotion, her interpretation of "Agatha" is damn near close to terrifying. Robert Pattinson leaves all his "Twilight" days behind him and continues to evolve as a true performer. Cronenberg obviously knows what the heartthrob is capable of as he continues to use him frequently.John Cusack and Olivia Williams are a match made in cinema hell, which secretly means heaven. Two people who are despicable together, the pair play insanely well off each other, showcasing luscious movements that all ring true. The young Evan Bird will have all of us learning his name by end credits. Lots of child stars make soft transitions in upbeat films like Little Miss Sunshine and Whale Rider. This is a brave and charismatic performance, channeling the aura of Justin Bieber unfortunately just based on looks but with tenacity as such performers as Ryan Gosling.There are some tough pills to swallow during the viewing. There's incest, murder, "mean girl," moments, children dying which has characters happy to see it, it just doesn't seem to end. However, you will be entranced and placed under its spell from moment one. Cronenberg takes on subjects like violence and family with assurance. He's displayed this ability many times over in his filmmography. Map to the Stars stands tall with all the director's previous efforts.Map to the Stars is not coy and completely confident in its demeanor. A well orchestrated and symbolic film that stands as one of the year's best films. This is Cronenberg's best effort since A History of Violence.
Maps To The Stars - Short review (by tardieu-felix)
Although Cronenberg does not transcend himself in his film as he could do brilliantly in "A History Of Violence" or "Cosmopolis" more recently, this film remains unique to the genre to which he devoted himself, that is to say, a cinema of the extremes and of the unconscious impulses.Maps To The Stars is shaping a bit more Cronenberg's atmosphere, as a kind of metamorphosis of human nature, found in her most recognized disfigurement : the Hollywood sphere, a private sphere, where blends a thousand contradictions. This film is faithful to the cinema of David Cronenberg <more>
in his ironic and pessimistic format, even though it is not digging out a new point of view over the transformation of human nature, which nevertheless resonates in each of his films. That's what a true Cronenberg film is : a repressed drive.