RPatz Delivers in Cronenberg’s Latest
COSMOPOLIS (2012/IN THEATERS) You either love David Cronenberg’s movies or you don’t. I count myself a fan– but I do have my limits. Unlike his latest group of films (A Dangerous Method, Eastern Promises, A History of Violence) which were considered almost normal, with Cosmopolis the director returns to form. Based on the novel by Don DeLillo, with a screenplay by Cronenberg himself, the film is structured as a series of vignettes, all occurring on a single day and centered around Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson)—a 28 year old wunderkind of Wall Street who moves around a futuristic and decaying NYC in his fully equipped plush limo (and we do mean fully equipped). Where is he going? He wants a haircut—across town. The limo serves as both an office and an extension of Packer. Invited inside are various staff members who discuss technology and security issues, the strengthening of the Yuan (against a bet by young Packer) and the latest news from Asia (not good). Also invited in are Juliette Binoche (for a quick screw) and Samantha Morton (to talk about the philosophy of time, money and the future). The head of security for Packer (Kevin Durand) appears often at the window to talk about “credible threats.” Packer does leave the vehicle at several times during the day, most notably for impromptu meals and attempted conversations with his new wealthy wife (Sarah Gadon) as well as for a quick roll in the hay with an attractive security guard. And two of my favorite actors–Mathieu Almaric and Paul Giamatti–appear as the “threats” to Packer (I won’t say which one is more serious). The film is existential to be sure and full of plenty of talk, some of it interesting, some too pretentious to be interesting. I have not read the book on which the film is based—but it is now seen as “prescient” for predicting the Occupy Movement years ahead of its occurrence.
Cronenberg brings to the film his usual strong production values. The cinematography by Peter Suschitzky (so much of it inside the limo) is gorgeous, as is Howard Shore’s soundtrack. And Robert Pattinson does a fabulous job IMHO as the cold and isolated young emblem of the 1%. Hard to know whether to recommend this film to many viewers, but do check it out if you like Cronenberg movies or if you’re in the mood for philosophy. But don’t be fooled by the movie’s trailer– it made the whole thing look like lots more fun than it is.