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Cosmopolis More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

The Currency of Rat

6/10
Author: David Ferguson (fergusontx@gmail.com) from Dallas, Texas
2 September 2012

Greetings again from the darkness. David Cronenberg is a brilliant filmmaker. Brilliance doesn't necessarily translate into popular or even accessible. He tends to make movies that force a level of discomfort while viewing, while also stretching our intellect as we attempt to follow. Even his films that come closest to mainstream (A History of Violence, The Fly) refuse to allow us to just sit and be entertained. His more esoteric films (Naked Lunch, Crash) will cause your thoughts to swim and your gut to churn.

This latest is based on the Don DeLillo novel and there is no known group of film lovers for whom this can be recommended, save Cronenberg fans. Even that doesn't reduce its brilliance. Robert Pattinson plays Eric Packer, the ultimate example of the 1% that is receiving such notice these days. Packer is a young, billionaire, who rides around in his mobile ivory tower (you might call it a white stretch limo), taking meetings while on his mission to get a haircut. The meetings are vignettes designed to grow increasingly abstract and dialogue heavy as the film progresses.

The meetings feature Jay Baruchel as his Chief of Technology, Philip Nozuka as an Analyst, Emily Hampshire as his Chief of Finance, Samantha Morton as his Chief of Theory ... oh, and a special meeting with his mistress Juliette Binoche. He also manages to continually run into his new wife played by Sarah Gadon, and work in his daily doctor's exam which is extremely thorough. All of these occur while he is being protected by his security chief played by Kevin Durand.

This film is not plot driven, but rather ideal and theory driven. From the discussions we can tell that the financial systems are collapsing and Packer is losing millions by the minute. His fortune is vanishing and there are threats on his life. The most interesting threat comes from his true polar opposite in life - Benno Levin played by Paul Giamatti. This sequence is the film's longest and most dialogue heavy. Understanding every sentence is not necessary to realize it's a comment on the faceless many vs the evil privileged. The paranoia has boiled over to the point where anarchy and violence somehow make sense.

Twilight fans will not be pleased with Pattinson's performance, but he is absolutely perfect as Packer. His cold, arrogant nature and monotone voice are anything but emotionless. He apparently realizes his path is leading to the Village of the Damned, and he seems to have designed his own purgatory. One of the funniest, yet still odd, moments arrives in the form of Mathieu Amalric, who will generate recollections of a Rupert Murdoch incident.

Howard Shore provides an extremely subtle score that fits with the mood changes a the film progresses. Again, this is a bit like watching a philosophical laboratory experiment and certainly won't appeal to a wide audience. If you are a Cronenberg fan, have at it. If not ... the risk is yours.

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20 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

I am not Masochist, but I Saw This Awful Movie until the Very End

1/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
15 November 2012

I am not masochist, but I saw "Cosmopolis" until the very end only because it is directed by David Cronenberg, who is among my favorite directors. What a deception I have had!

I usually begin my reviews in IMDb with a plot summary, but what can I say about this pretentious story? A billionaire crosses Manhattan in his limousine, in a day of protest against the president of his country, because he wants a haircut on the other side of the town in a dangerous neighborhood. Meanwhile he meets strange characters in weird situations that come and go, without any development of the characters, their motives or their relationships. To complete the mess, the wealthy guy apparently snaps. The lead character is performed by the weird Robert Pattinson with his face that recalls a character from "The Munster", a TV series from 1964 to 1966.

The most funny is to glance at reviews that have found some sort of intelligence in this film, as if it were a harsh criticism to the Capitalism: the Emperor has no clothes. My vote is one (awful).

Title (Brazil): "Cosmópolis"

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Both absurd and hyper-real, shocking and droll

10/10
Author: Mike Beranek from West Drayton
24 July 2017

Once I got over the lack of straight narrative, and felt the hypnotic power of the dialogue, then witnessed some brilliant set pieces from a star studded list of supporting actors I was hooked. You don't have to 'get' everything. It's as clever and significant as Crash but more complex and subtle in places. It felt multi-layered and worth revisiting. I feel to class this as dull is to look for the wrong thing in a director who is anything but conventional. I thought of the apocalyptic dream imagery of JG Ballard and his mercurial solipsistic protagonists. It is not without its heart-stopping moments too with sharp darts of piercing sex and violence. This film has a prophetic feel and can only mature and reveal its truths with the passage of time. In other words looking back, this will be appreciated as a great work.

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What the blimmin' flip

2/10
Author: Chris Burns from Swindon, UK
11 July 2017

Oh dear god, turned off after 15 minutes.

I'm willing to concede that I might have missed the point of this film, but my life minutes/hours, I felt after 15 minutes, were better spent concentrating on the clothes ironing that I was doing rather than on this self indulgence.

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Atmosphere over story, which in this case doesn't work

Author: Anssi Vartiainen from Helsinki
13 February 2017

A stupidly rich young man sits in a limo and rides towards his barber meeting. Around him the city gets crazier and crazier as the society crumbles in the throes of an economical crisis. Or at least that's what I think happens... The movie isn't big on explaining stuff.

As the stupidly rich young man rides across the city, things happen. He has his daily doctor appointment right there in his limo, he argues with his wife about sex, has sex with just about every other woman he meets, talks with his business associates, hires bodyguards (one of them being a woman he eventually bangs), and so worth. None of this really moves the plot forwards, none of this really connects with anything else. The movie tries to rely on mood and an interesting situation to hook you in, but it lacks the core structure. Plus it tries to make economics into a philosophy, which only reminds me how much I hate the whole subject. At least a film like The Big Short, which is also about economics, makes the whole subject interesting by talking about the people behind it. This tries to elevate economics into an art form, if not a religion in its own right, but it just doesn't have the depth to pull it off.

The film has a couple of merits to its name. The story is artsy garbage, but at least the film looks really good and director David Cronenberg's touch is clearly visible across the board. Plus the final scene, where two mentally ill people sit in a trashy low-end apartment and try to make their personal neuroses resonate with one another, is pretty cool. It's still artsy, but in an entertaining manner.

All in all I'm sure the film has its fans because it throws enough stuff at the screen that some of it has to stick with certain people. Personally I didn't get enough out of it to be satisfied, but perhaps the fault lies with me.

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Be prepared for a film about ideas that doesn't seem to understand any of them

6/10
Author: lemon_magic from Wavy Wheat, Nebraska
26 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If this film bored you to death, I sympathize. I found it intensely irritating at times, at least until I got into the rhythms and mindset of the screenplay, and even then there were times I wanted to yell at the screen, "GET ON WITH IT!!!"

If I had to sum "Cosmopolis" in a few words, I'd say (perhaps unfairly) that it was a Harold Pinter play filtered through a Walter Gibson scenario (the closest parallel being "New Rose Hotel") and through Cronenberg's own desire to challenge our ideas about what is "real". All of these influences aregood things, but I can't say that they go well together in a film format.

On the positive side: the film looks great, in spite of the seemingly claustrophobic setting, where 80% of the film takes place inside a stretch limo. I really enjoyed being in that limo. And the actors look great. And the screenplay tries to discuss some big, challenging ideas.

On the negative: the film comes to an ambiguous, unsatisfying end. And the characters don't seem to have any real meat to them - every last one of them (except the bodyguard and the driver and maybe the barber) are so vacant, so bloodless, so postmodern and anemic, that you want to throw them outside, make them go for a walk, maybe get into a fistfight or something. I know these are deliberate choices,probably stemming from the Delillo novel this is based on - but it still makes it hard for me to care about what happens to these twits. And I hate Delillo's pseudo-profundity anyway, which poses intellectual and philosophical dilemmas that really don't matter to anyone but maybe a devotee of Derrida.

In the end, a Cronenberg movie is always worth watching at least once, maybe twice to see if you caught all the subtexts. Go into this with an open mind and maybe a beer or bottle of wine to relax, and you'll probably be fine.

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The Alpha Finds His Prey

9/10
Author: gpknopp from United States
15 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yes, it's a crass film, pretty much about being stuck in a limo in Manhattan during political unrest - the Rat whatevers. It's a crass film because such a concept is simply voyeuristic. And it sounds smart but ridiculous, on my second watch it fell into place and not I am a bit more impressed with the fine script that made this possible. And, it's pretty zen, with his underlings coming to him to consult, and there's babble about unchartables, it's not chartable this, it's not chartable that. Which I took to mean, on the second watch, that it's about being part of the thing, rooting out the cause somewhat instinctively, like any artist/scientist. He identified the root cause, went there, lost track of the complex, which he had to do, and how dangerous really were those security people? He seemed to infiltrate them, plying people off with goodies. Only his wife gets him. And hates him, because she's old money and he is just a genius, son of a driver, probably. And, in the end, he finds his man, the master manipulator, and he is recognized. And they take pot shots of one another, and it's funny, but he has to keep them reacting! One final question - what would have happened if he would have stayed in the office? Don't play into those short squeezes, brothers!

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A masterpiece but not for everyone

10/10
Author: pmetzr from Portugal
14 September 2016

''People eat and sleep in the shadow of what we do''

Cosmopolis is not an easy ride and certainly not for everyone, resembling a dream-like feeling this is a visually beautiful film, the performances are great and the dialogue is weird and complex which is obvious it didn't please a lot of people. (5.0 rating is laughable, what the hell is going on?).

It's one of those films that may require more than one viewing to fully understand the meaning of each conversation but it's totally worth it since you're always gonna discover something new and interesting that will make you think for days (you can find quotable lines everywhere in this movie).

The final confrontation might have hypnotized me in some kind of way, Paul Giamatti and Robert Pattinson deliver one of the best climactic dialogues i've ever seen.

Cronenberg gives us the vision of the 1% of our society and he creates a masterpiece that can be thought-provoking and funny at the same time, i feel sorry for those who didn't get it.

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A film packed with existential quotes ... a truly European film

8/10
Author: Elena Kuyumdjian from Sofia, Bulgaria
26 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One evening I tried to watch it (up to somewhere 20 -30 min) and I found it too complex to follow. I gave up and decided to watch it again when I am not tired and can follow the plot. I haven't read the book so I can not comment and can not make comparisons with it.

Next day I enjoyed it more and was able to use the IP TV functions to go back to the most compacted wording scenes and was able to better follow the plot. I was fascinated by the surrealistic and exaggerated character of Eric Packer. Compare it to "The Wolf of Wall street" - Cosmopolis is the dark and ugly side of it.

The pacing in the first part and after meeting (the character) Benno Levinis, cutting the world of Eric in two. Just like when I lost my job as a senior finance manager and had to stay 11 month at home - the change in pace is breathtaking and mind blowing. You have to experience to believe it possible!

A film packed with existential quotes ... a truly European film.

July 2016

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Incredible

9/10
Author: tristanh-24900 from Canada
26 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I thought this movie was incredible. The way we are immediately pulled into the dark and almost surreal atmosphere inside Eric Packer's world speaks volumes about director David Cronenberg's prowess. The story is one not many people can relate to, especially when one comes off as cold as Packer. But truth is, deep down inside, Packer's character is incredibly tormented, and simply cannot face it. He is a walking sociopath, and talks the part too. His interactions with other characters serve brilliantly as indicators of his personality and experiences: what shaped him, what is he after, and most of all: why does he seem so dissatisfied? All compelling questions that are answered more and more as the film looms to a climax, culminating in an ultimate "suicide" attempt on behalf of Packer, but not in the way you would think. It is such a marvellous look inside the mind and world of an individual so tormented yet so disillusioned by his own emotional state and simple boredom that it will stay with you for days. Cosmopolis: the size of Packer's genuine lack of care. An incredible rendition of an even more haunting novel by one of Canada's best film directors, and actors that complete Pattinson so well that you wonder if this is real. Best of all: Robert Pattinson is truly superb as Packer; so much so that I forgot all about Twilight until getting here. Truth is Pattinson is not at all Twilight anymore; and Cosmopolis serves as a perfect example of his versatility and ability to portray fraying human emotion. The film's nomination for the Palme d'Or at Cannes was truly deserved. An incredible work of art, worth a revisit but not too many: slipping into Packer's calculated world of self- destruction can be dangerous, and, ultimately, suicidal. Goodnight to all, and I really hope you both understand (as I read from other reviews..) and enjoy this movie.

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