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David Robert Mitchell
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
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 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.
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