Riding across Manhattan in a stretch limo in order to get a haircut, a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager's day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.
Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.
Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a devastating diagnosis, Alice and her family find their bonds tested.
A drama about the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.
A family on a ski holiday in the French Alps find themselves staring down an avalanche during lunch one day; in the aftermath, their dynamic has been shaken to its core, with a question mark hanging over their patriarch in particular.
Lisa Loven Kongsli,
The Weiss family is the archetypical Hollywood dynasty: father Stafford is an analyst and coach, who has made a fortune with his self-help manuals; mother Cristina mostly looks after the career of their son Benjie, 13, a child star. One of Stafford's clients, Havana, is an actress who dreams of shooting a remake of the movie that made her mother, Clarice, a star in the 60s. Clarice is dead now and visions of her come to haunt Havana at night... Adding to the toxic mix, Benjie has just come off a rehab program he joined when he was 9 and his sister, Agatha, has recently been released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania and befriended a limo driver Jerome who is also an aspiring actor. Written by
We used to expect gross-out horror from David Cronenberg. Now he gives us weird and weirder. MAPS TO THE STARS is set in a Tinseltown of designer homes, designer shops and exclusive restaurants. The background 'sheen' is reminiscent of an Almodovar movie, plus there's a Gothic element borrowed from Shyamalan (Agatha and Benjie see dead people). Julianne Moore's performance is in the kind of hyper-drive she brought to BOOGIE NIGHTS, which helps to power the movie's gearshift from Hollywood satire into violent melodrama. One of the themes is incest, which surely needed a deeper and subtler exploration.
Robert Pattinson takes another step away from the Twilight Zone in the role of a limo driver with screen writing aspirations (like every other chauffeur in Los Angeles). Cronenberg is clearly reaching out towards a more discerning class of viewer. MAPS TO THE STARS is very much an 'auteur' movie, highly intelligent and stylized, but perhaps perched uncomfortably between satire and psychodrama.
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