‘Maps to the Stars’ screened for press at Cannes today and the reactions are rolling in…and are overwhelmingly positive!! We’ve excerpted our favourite parts of the reviews but you can check out the full write ups by clicking on each link. We’ll be updating as they come in so check back frequently!
Independent (4/5 stars):
This is high class soap opera with a cerebral twist. Its sudden shifts in tone are disconcerting but it is funny, ghoulish and has plenty of satirical bite.
It’s hard to say what is more powerful… the characters, the performances or the gripping, sickly story. One thing is for sure – this film will stay with you. And change the way you watch films forever.
To be sure, Cronenberg’s navigation combined with Wagner’s pen (“it’s a fucking art film!”) make Maps to the Stars both a standout of Cannes 2014, and the best film the director has made since 2005.
…Great fun, and an invigorating addition to Cronenberg’s offbeat filmography.
To that end, Maps to the Stars Home dips elegantly into the surreal and the real, bobbing in and out of both effortlessly. You never see the strings. Much of this is clearly due to the writing — this is one hell of a script. But it is also a well-oiled machine, with actors knowing exactly what tone is required and a director who, of course, can’t help but dive right in.
That makes Maps of the Stars probably the most exciting, unexpected surprise of the film festival so far.
Pattinson and Cronenberg are developing a nice collaboration, however, and here’s to hoping we get to see more from the two of them.
With a script by novelist Bruce Wagner and a cast that includes Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska and John Cusack, as well as Carrie Fisher, herself a mordant chronicler of Tinseltown excesses, it certainly has its bona fides in order, and the hosannahs are intense enough to raise expectations that the dissents don’t manage to drown out. After all, if no one hated it, it would be a David Cronenberg movie, would it?
Cronenberg turns Hollywood into a haven of grotesqueries that so exhaustively consumes its inhabitants they can’t see it around them.
Cronenberg’s go-to composer, Howard Shore, delivers one of his best scores yet for the dry Canadian maestro, a menacing undertow that picks up on some of the ethnic, New Age sounds of the world it depicts, but shifts them into Clockwork Orange territory.
…good news is here, because the Canadian director’s latest, “Maps To The Stars,” just premiered at Cannes, and while it’s substantially different from the “Videodrome“s and “Crash“es of the world, and probably rather more disposable, it’s certainly the director’s most twisted, and as a consequence, most deliciously entertaining film, in quite a long while. (B+)
There are so many snakes in play, it takes a while to work out which fangs connect to which rattle. The first is Agatha, the young woman from the coach, played by Mia Wasikowska. She’s come to town ostensibly to help the actress Carrie Fisher, whom she befriended on Twitter, to write a novel – “although it might become something for HBO,” she blithely tells Jerome, a chauffeur and would-be actor winningly played by Robert Pattinson. (5 stars)
It’s not a film that feels very subtle on a first watch, but my sense is actually that repeat viewings will pay dividends – it’s a juicy piece of work with several blackly comic set-pieces … that may distract from the underlying meat. To expand on just one example: “stars”, after all, have a celestial meaning far removed from the sleaze of celebrity culture, and yet they too have a resonance in this film.
Julianne Moore, in particular, gives her all for the occasion
The film can be consumed as a straight-arrow take on the modern movie industry and its discontents, but it’s clear there’s another, possibly more interesting and radical film obscured in the backdrop by the thick LA smog. There’s astrology, Freudian tomfoolery, wedding farce, supernatural visitation and much pop psychology.
David Cronenberg’s new film here at Cannes is a gripping and exquisitely horrible movie about contemporary Hollywood – positively vivisectional in its sadism and scorn. It is twisted, twisty, and very far from all the predictable outsider platitudes about celebrity culture. (4 out of 5 stars)
Cronenberg’s direction feels at home in a world of soulless homes and offices, clubs at night and flash cars. He locates a deeply sick spirit in his tale and explores it through far-fetched fiction told with deadly seriousness, also adding a dose of baroque to proceedings and a streak of wicked humour.
What brings together them is one of the recurring themes of Cronenberg’s work: the quasi-schizophrene separation of image and identity. Hollywood obviously is the ideal playground for such a topic. Cronenberg is added to this line of great movies on a broken Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard in whatever happened to Baby Jane Mulholland Dr. and most recent and miniature The Canyons. With his own, less melodramatic – style the film is very moving – but with a pretty fascinating clinical strangeness. To do this, Cronenberg has not been afraid to get dirty fingers with juicy twists sometimes escaped from an episode of Sunset Beach, unlike more timid writers who know what auteuriser. This mixture of coldness and vulgarity and one of the peculiarities of this regulation of mythological account disguised magical tale of cinema (5 out of 6 stars)
Julianne Moore is amazing in Cronenberg’s sharp, surreal Hollywood satire Maps To The Stars, also starring Robert Pattinson, Mia W and more
— ELLEUK (@ELLEUK) May 18, 2014
Derrière la satire Hollywoodienne, un superbe film de revenants. “Maps to the stars” = le meilleur Cronenberg depuis “A History of Violence”
— Romain Le Vern (@RomainLeVern) May 18, 2014
Maps to the Stars paints heady portrait of a ghastly, corrupted Hollywood tide-pool. Julianne Moore the standout in on-form cast #cannes2014
— Xan Brooks (@XanBrooks) May 18, 2014
— Preston Barta (@PrestonBarta) May 18, 2014
I adored the dark Hollywood satire of Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars. So funny, and with brilliant perfs, especially Evan Bird. #Cannes2014
— Catherine Bray (@catherinebray) May 18, 2014
Maps to the Stars – such a strange and fucked up thriller comedy. Julianne Moore is a blast. #Cannes2014
— Alexander Dunerfors (@dunerfors) May 18, 2014
Life as an endless series of remakes: Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS is a wickedly smart Hollywood satire with a serrated edge. #cannes
— Scott Foundas (@foundasonfilm) May 18, 2014
MAPS TO THE STARS: Croney is back, he’s fucking back to his days of CRASH! Brilliant satire on Hollywood, and Julianne slays. #Cannes2014
— Ken Adams (@TaybackX) May 18, 2014
— Helen Faradji (@HelenFaradji) May 18, 2014
Jeu de massacre jubilatoire pour Cronenberg!#Cannes2014
— Kamy (@Kamy_Pro) May 18, 2014
Well Maps to the Stars is a bit brilliant/insane. #Cannes2014
— Matt Risley (@spliggle) May 18, 2014
Who knew we needed Cronenberg doing The Player meets Carrie? Maps to the Stars is hellacious fun.
— Steve Pond (@stevepond) May 18, 2014
— Gabriele Capolino (@gabrielecapo) May 18, 2014
Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS: entertainingly vicious Tinseltown satire. (So Hollywood is full of deranged egomaniacs. Who knew?)
— Jonathan Romney (@JonathanRomney) May 18, 2014
— Catherine Bray (@catherinebray) May 18, 2014
Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars is a deliciously warped satire of Hollywood’s debauched excesses. A bit mad and a bit brilliant. #Cannes
— Total Film (@totalfilm) May 18, 2014
Maps to the Stars: brilliant, biting satire from Cronenberg. Laughed all the way through. Perfect casting. Really dug this one. #Cannes2014
— Simran Hans (@heavier_things) May 18, 2014
Maps to the Stars – [A]. Top form Cronenberg. Twisted, smart, and insane. Academy gods, give Ms. Moore an Oscar nomination! #Cannes2014
— David Ketchum (@KetchumAtMovies) May 18, 2014
MAPS TO THE STARS: Bruce Wagner, brilliant cartographer. This movie is so cool and twisted and funny. #Cannes2014
— Jake Howell (@Jake_Howell) May 18, 2014
#Cannes2014 Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars a nicely judged dark satire of Hollywood manners. Well performed by all, with some spot-on lines.
— Geoff Andrew (@Geoff_Andrew) May 18, 2014
MAPS TO THE STARS? yes, exactly as bat-shit crazy as I imagined. #Cannes2014
— Magdalena Miedl (@mmiedl) May 18, 2014
— Jesse Wente (@jessewente) May 18, 2014