'Maps To The Stars' Gives Cannes A Dark And Unrelenting Hollywood Satire With Stand-Out Performances
David Cronenberg's new film could have a strong shot at the Palme D'Or if critics are on the money.
Maps to the Stars has finally received its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and will compete in competition with nearly 20 other films for the top prize. Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson lead the way in the movie, which is a scathing satire of Beverly Hills and certain roach-like denizens.
Robert Pattinson Plays Limo Driver Jerome Fantana In 'Maps To The Stars.'
Moore plays Havana Segrand, a famous but struggling star who is battling for another shot at fame playing the lead in a movie about her legendary movie star mother's life. Wasikowska plays Agatha Weiss, a badly scarred pyromaniac whose brother is a Bieber-esque child star with a similar attitude.
Agatha goes to work for Havana as a PA and befriends Pattinson's limo driver aspiring screenwriter Jerome Fantana. The movie is based upon an original script by Bruce Wagner and captures the feel of a stereotypical Los Angeles with palm tree-lined boulevards and talk of box office grosses.
Watch The 'Maps To The Stars' Trailer:
""Maps" spreads itself too thin, lavishing the majority of its attention on Moore's high-risk performance. The actress seems game to push the limits, partnering with a director who never plays it safe, and yet Wagner's script is content to go after easy targets: child actors, Scientology, revolving-door rehab programs, New Age-y pseudo-spiritualism," says Variety's Peter Debruge.
The reviewer generally praises the cast but singles out Moore, who evidently excels in her role as the deranged and desperate Havana: "Moore is incredible, but her character's frustrations would be more effective coming from a younger star, while the always-wooden Wasikowska ought to stop playing 18-year-olds already."
Critics Have Praised The Complex Roles & Mature Performances From Wasikowska & Moore.
Describing the movie as "a claustrophobic nightmare of despair [that is] positively vivisectional in its sadism and scorn," the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw says that "It is twisted, twisty, and very far from all the predictable outsider platitudes about celebrity culture."
The Telegraph gives the movie the best review of the bunch, going as far as to say that the coveted Palme D'Or could be within Cronenberg's reach. Maps "spits poison in the faces of its Cannes competition rivals," says Robbie Collin, adding "Cronenberg's film takes place in a kind of pharmaceutically heightened hyper-reality of its own: it's not so much a twisted dream of making it in show-business, as a writhing, hissing, Hollywood waking nightmare."
Moore's Turn As Havana Is Consistently Singled Out For Brilliance.
"All kinds of taboos are broken along the way: sexual, social, scatological, you name it," the critic warns before stating that "There's so much in this seething cauldron of a film, so many film-industry neuroses exposed and horrors nested within horrors, that one viewing is too much, and not nearly enough."
David Cronenberg's MAPS TO THE STARS w/ Julianne Moore & Robert Pattinson premieres tonight at 22:30 pic.twitter.com/ct6aMh93pS— Cannes Film Festival (@CannesCoverage) May 19, 2014
Though none of the actors are assassinated by any of the critics, Moore's performance in particular is praised by THR's Todd McCarthy, who says that the actress "gives her all for the occasion."
"The women and the youngsters have the best roles here; Moore and Wasikowska throw themselves into theirs, mostly to good effect but at times over-recklessly, while [Olivia] Williams provides a mortifying picture of a Hollywood monster mom," he writes.