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Cosmopolis (2012)

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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.

Director:

David Cronenberg

Writers:

David Cronenberg (screenplay), Don DeLillo (novel)
3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Pattinson ... Eric Packer
Sarah Gadon ... Elise Shifrin
Paul Giamatti ... Benno Levin
Kevin Durand ... Torval
Abdul Ayoola ... Ibrahim Hamadou
Juliette Binoche ... Didi Fancher
Emily Hampshire ... Jane Melman
Bob Bainborough Bob Bainborough ... Dr. Ingram
Samantha Morton ... Vija Kinsky
Zeljko Kecojevic Zeljko Kecojevic ... Danko
Jay Baruchel ... Shiner
Philip Nozuka Philip Nozuka ... Michael Chin
Mathieu Amalric ... André Petrescu
Patricia McKenzie ... Kendra Hays
Ryan Kelly Ryan Kelly ... Rat Man #1
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Storyline

On the spur of the moment, twenty-eight year old Manhattan self-made multi-billionaire Eric Packer decides he wants to get a haircut from his regular and longtime barber across town, a difficult journey today if only because of the traffic gridlock from three high profile but vastly different events taking place in the borough, including a wandering anarchist protest, they who largely use dead rats as their symbol of protest. Through his trek, Eric, most taking place in his stretch limousine, meets with several business associates - some with as esoteric job titles as Head of Theory - and personal acquaintances, including his several week bride, Elise, a wealthy woman in her own right with who he still has a somewhat distant relationship if only because they don't really know each other. The start of Eric's day ends much differently than the end as his personal fortune largely hinges on external forces in relation to a speculative currency transaction, and as he learns that someone is... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How far can he go before he goes too far?

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong sexual content including graphic nudity, violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | France | Portugal | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 2012 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Cosmópolis See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€330,899 (Italy), 27 May 2012, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$70,339, 19 August 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$743,636, 16 September 2012

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,063,556, 4 January 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marion Cotillard was originally cast as Elise Shifrin but dropped out due to pregnancy. After she dropped out, Noomi Rapace and Keira Knightley were considered to play the role before Sarah Gadon accepted the part. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Torval: Where?
Eric Packer: I wanna a haircut.
Torval: The president's in town.
Eric Packer: We don't care. We need a haircut. We need to go crosstown.
Torval: You will hit traffic that speaks in quarter inches.
Eric Packer: Just so I know. Which president are we talking about?
Torval: United States. Barriers will be set up. Entire streets deleted from the map.
Eric Packer: Show me my car.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Pre-credits title card: a rat became the unit of currency ZBIGNIEW HERBERT See more »

Connections

Referenced in From Stereo to Video (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Mecca
Lyrics by Don DeLillo and K'Naan
Performed by K'Naan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Dialogue-driven and emotionally empty, "Cosmpolis" requires an intense desire for philosophical discourse
21 September 2012 | by Movie_Muse_ReviewsSee all my reviews

Let's say that for every 10 "Twilight" fans, at least one is guaranteed to give "Cosmopolis" a go for no other reason than Robert Pattinson. And among those "Twilight" fans dumb enough to mindlessly try the film out, at least 9 of 10 will despise what they see.

David Cronenberg rather faithfully (from what I understand) adapts Don DeLillo's socio- economic commentary rolled into a film about young billionaire Eric Packer, who goes on a long limo ride across New York City for a haircut. What he fails to recognize, however, is that he was completely wasting his time; "Cosmopolis" has no business being a movie.

Cronenberg's clean and tight approach to the film can't be denied its technical kudos, but everything he films is emotionally anemic. "Cosmopolis" has no story; its characters are talking heads and its scenes just a collection of political gospel and esoteric ideologies.

Not an ounce of this film goes into giving its characters souls, and the more you hunt in search for just a sliver of one, the less attention you pay to the themes so fundamental to the film's core. If you can focus long enough in any given scene, you'll pick up some thought- provoking nuggets, but our natural curiosity as an audience is to look for the story behind the highbrow dialogue. Doing so, however, distracts from paying attention to all that can be praised about this material.

Therein lies the reason Cronenberg should have left the novel alone. Ideas like the ones presented in "Cosmopolis" deserve time to simmer. If I had read the book, I certainly would have taken the time to re-read portions of it to process the commentary on capitalism rather than thinking at multiple times throughout the film "oh, there are rats, that's a symbol for what this film is trying to say about capitalism!"

With the exception of Packer's newly made wife (Sarah Gadon), the cast of supporting characters suffers a similar fate in spite of some big names in Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti and Jay Baruchel. By the time you can begin to so much as chew on the ideas raised in one of any of the several scenes in which Packer meets with a new character in his limo and talks about big-time stuff, that character is gone from the film completely. You never get a moment to catch up so that you can be in step with what's going on.

Providing further distraction from understanding anything that's said in this movie is how Cronenberg — as he always does — charges this film with sexual and violent tension. He's not adding any that's not already in the story, but he accentuates it. Consequently, moments in the film will yank you out of your perpetual state of philosophical processing and snap you back into the moment of the film, usually a violent outburst or a quick cut to a sex scene. That's part of what makes Cronenberg a revered director, but in this case it's what makes "Cosmopolis" such a tough watch.

For those hoping to see what Pattinson does as a top-billed star given weighty material, "Cosmopolis" proves to be an unfair judge. He seems comfortable with the bizarre style of dialogue, but the character and the story are so empty that the film can hardly be considered a fair judgment of his would-be dramatic prowess.

As with any work of art steeped in its ideas, the more you sit with it or re-experience it, the more you're likely to warm up to it, and I have no reason to believe that will not be true of "Cosmopolis." At the same time, a majority of viewers will likely not be equipped with the experience of processing this language as the film necessitates, and the first run-through (obviously the most important) suffers drastically as a result.

~Steven C

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