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.
After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.
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
In an almost 50-year career, this was the very first time that David Cronenberg ever filmed anything in the United States (his previous movies were mostly shot in Canada or the UK). The film shot for 5 days in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills (location manager Scott Trimble) and 24 days in Cronenberg's native Toronto (location manager Marty Dejczak). See more »
At the courtyard restaurant, the shadows formed by the retaining wall move around between shots. In Christina's shots it's clear the sun is over her left shoulder, with the wall in shadow and the shots completed, perhaps, in the morning. In Harriet's, the shadow of the railing is on the ground, it must be around noon. In Stafford's the wall is lit up, so maybe it's the afternoon. Everyone's going to know the truth now. See more »
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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