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.
After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally murders his wife and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa.
The residents of a suburban high-rise apartment building are being infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into mindless, sex-crazed fiends out to infect others by the slightest sexual contact.
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
The movie was going to be shot in 2004, with David Cronenberg and Julianne Moore already attached to the project, but the director wanted to shoot the film in Los Angeles and it was financially impossible. See more »
When Jerome is driving Havana, they are in a long wheelbase 'L' version of Lincoln Town Car, when they've arrived at her house and are having sex in the back, they are in a standard wheelbase version (it has a shorter quarter glass section in the rear door window). 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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