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
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 »
Anyone worried that a David Cronenberg film about the inner workings of Hollywood would not be filled with copious amounts of ick, rest assured. The ick abounds in "Maps to the Stars," a fascinating film that must be something like what watching a grisly car accident in slow motion would feel like.
Julianne Moore won her Oscar for the bland and award-bait "Still Alice" last year, but THIS is the movie for which she should have won. Utterly lacking in vanity, Moore tears into the role of a washed up actress struggling night and day to stage her comeback. Think Norma Desmond without the black and white studio sheen of "Sunset Boulevard" and the filters that were necessarily in place back when Billy Wilder's dark satire was released. This film is like rummaging through Norma Desmond's underwear. Mia Wasikowska is great as well as Moore's hanger on and personal assistant who unravels and goes off the deep end and beyond. Swirling around these two characters are plot lines involving a troubled child star, lots and lots of incest, and enough frantic desperation to fill a sequel to "Mulholland Drive."
Whenever I see a movie like this, I immediately wonder how true it is vs. how exaggerated for effect. For example, did Halle Berry or Nicole Kidman at one point in their careers have to subject themselves to the indignities shown or implied in this film? But then I think there has to be a lot of truth to movies like this, "Mulholland Drive," etc., which makes me glad I decided to be an anonymous Joe as opposed to a superstar. For every Julia Roberts, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of desperate people out there waiting for the big break that will never come, or who can't handle it when it eventually does.
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