Cert: 18 Runtime: 111 mins Director: David Cronenberg Cast: Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, Evan Bird, Sarah Gadon and Carrie Fisher
I think you are a little crazy
Maps to the Stars has had a lot of media interest as of late, Julianne Moore won best actress at Cannes with this performance and apparently Cronenberg has whipped out a great movie. This personally didn’t grab my attention at first, but we have to watch things that don’t interest us some times. What is Maps to the Stars about? Part of a grand acting dynasty, aging Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore) is neurotic about her fading looks. She’s also desperate to be cast in a remake of one of her mother’s films. Fresh off the bus, mysteriously scarred Tinseltown newcomer Agatha (Mia Wasikowska) befriends actor/limo driver Jerome Fontana (Robert Pattinson) and wangles herself a job as Havana’s PA. Dr. Stafford Weiss (John Cusack), Havana’s vain and manipulative self-help guru, has a 13-year-old son named Benjie (Evan Bird). He’s a monstrously bratty, breathtakingly tactless child star, fresh from rehab.
David Cronenberg has never really been a straight forward film-maker, he makes the audience think and reflect on what the viewer watches. In his latest movie “Maps to The Stars” in some way Cronenberg decided to make a movie that gives us an inside to the Hollywood glamorous life that is full of narcissism, youth and fame obsessed as well as full of dysfunctionality. In a larger sense “Maps to The Stars” could be called a satire for creating a vision of Hollywood glamour life as something deeply dysfunctional, where ego takes over and basically destroys everything that’s good and wholesome in the individual.There are a few stories that intertwine evolving an aging female star who still deals with the fact that her mother a famous Hollywood actress from the 50’s abused her sexually as a child (excellent Julianne Moore), 13 years old child star Benjie Weiss who is after rehab (Evan Bird), his mentally unstable sister Agatha Weiss (Mia Wasikowska) who falls for actor/limo driver (Robert Pattinson) and their parents played by John Cusack and Olivia Williams who happens to be brother and sister.
They are all highly dysfunctional people that try to maintain the illusion of success and stability, underneath however they are extremely narcissistic and deeply morally damaged. In a larger context this film shows what fame does to people’s ego when you are not being treated like an average human being but closer to a God in a human form with power, wealth at your disposal. But none of the above can fill up the emptiness and dirt that resides inside them. In terms of acting Julianne Moore delivers arguably the greatest performance of her career for which she received “Best Actress” award at this year Cannes Film Festival. Her performance is so raw and emotionally naked that there are moments that make us deeply uncomfortable watching her battling the demons of the past and time that make her feel old and unwanted in youth obsessed Hollywood industry. In fact “Maps to The Stars” is full of strong performances including Mia Wasikowska and Olivia Williams. If you liked Cronenberg’s previous films you won’t be disappointed here, however If you find his style of narration just too weird and “sick minded” you might not enjoy this film as much. I think “Maps to The Stars” is a must see especially for Julianne Moore’s performance alone. She is that good, if not to say great.