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52nd New York Film Festival

Bruce Wagner - The 52nd New York Film Festival saw a host of stars attend the event in Manhattan, New York, United States - Sunday 28th September 2014

Bruce Wagner
Bruce Wagner
David Cronenberg, Julianne Moore, Bruce Wagner and Howard Shore

Maps To The Stars Review


As it explores Hollywood's inbred underbelly, this film becomes increasingly deranged and also rather dark and creepy, but it's so fiercely entertaining that it's impossible to look away from the screen. With razor-sharp performances, a brutally witty script by Bruce Wagner and snaky direction from David Cronenberg, the film is perhaps too knowing as it explores a group of fiercely ambitious people who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Things kick off as Agatha (Mia Wasikowska) arrives in Los Angeles and is collected by chauffeur Jerome (Robert Pattinson), who is also of course an aspiring screenwriter and actor. Focussed and determined, Agatha visits the ruins of a Hollywood Hills home before using a friendship with Carrie Fisher to get a job as an assistant to acclaimed actress Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore). Facing middle age, Havana is desperate for a comeback role in a remake of the movie that made her mother a star. Meanwhile, 13-year-old teen pin-up Benjie (Evan Bird) has completed rehab and is ready to act again, encouraged by his manager mother (Olivia Williams) and self-help guru dad (John Cusack), who are unnerved when they hear that Agatha is back in town. Clearly everyone has a secret that can jeopardise their career paths. And they're connected in ways no one wants to acknowledge.

The knotted mess of the plot is carefully unpicked over the course of the film, which only makes everything that much more intense and nasty. While it's blackly funny, the movie's overall tone is extremely grim, as these wealthy stars are crippled by emptiness and desperation. They're also willing to do just about anything to get ahead, from celebrating someone else's misfortune to blatantly lying about their pasts.

Continue reading: Maps To The Stars Review

'Maps To The Stars': The Movie That Took 20 Years To Write [Trailer + Pictures]

Robert Pattinson Bruce Wagner David Cronenberg Julianne Moore John Cusack Mia Wasikowska

Ok, so David Cronenberg's latest movie Maps to the Stars - which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May - will more than likely pull in a sizable teenage audience, given it stars Twlight's very own Robert Pattinson. Though without making too many assumptions, a chunk of those paying their $20 may have thought better of it by the end of the satirical drama, which delves into the celebrity-obsessed culture that made Pattinson's vampire franchise a global hit.

Robert Pattinson Maps to the StarsRobert Pattinson in 'Maps to the Stars'

It's written by Bruce Wagner, the tattooed Ambulance driver turned novelist who Cronenberg has compared to James Joyce. "He's unafraid to express the moment . to go to the darkest places. Hollywood is his Dublin," he told the Los Angeles Times, adding that Wagner is "a kind of star on the red carpet. He's not a typical writer. He's comfortable with cameras and microphones.

Continue reading: 'Maps To The Stars': The Movie That Took 20 Years To Write [Trailer + Pictures]

I'm Losing You Review

This multi-storied film centers around Langella, dying of cancer, and how his imminent death (and the death of others) impacts the rest of the cast. Throw in another three or four soon-to-be-six-feet-unders (the most memorable and surprising being Elizabeth Perkins as a woman slowly dying of AIDS) and you've got yourself one hell of a depressing movie. Even those who aren't dying are obsessed with it (McCarthy hawks "death futures" -- reselling life insurance policies for dying people). Even if you're perfectly healthy, you'll probably start checking for lumps after this one.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Review

The Nightmare continues, with two newcomers who would turn out to be fairly big stars -- Patricia Arquette and "Larry" Fishburne (dig the beard!) -- plus appearances from two classic actors whose presence is always welcome -- Dick Cavett and Zsa Zsa Gabor. This time, Heather Langenkamp from Nightmare #1 is a counselor to troubled teens, and Freddie decides to try to get them to commit suicide, thus doing in his old nemesis and a bunch of rotten kids at the same time. Far better than Nightmare #2, this one has a serpentine Freddie vomiting up a half-eaten, perpetually screaming Arquette. Can you not love this?

Continue reading: A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Review

Women In Film Review

Phew! I looked at the title of Women in Film and, figuring this would be some snoozy documentary about Joan Crawford, et al., I almost tossed it into the transom pile of TV compilations and PBS documentaries that we never end up reviewing.

Would that I had. Women in Film is an actual film, a real movie-movie based on Bruce Wagner's novel I'm Losing You. The film follows the verbal memoirs of three women involved with the film trade -- a producer (Beverly D'Angelo), a casting director (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), and a masseuse (Portia de Rossi), talking to the camera and never with another character in the room. The movie flips around among the three, with no rhyme or reason for the switches, and no story having anything to do with the others.

Continue reading: Women In Film Review

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