Archive for the ‘Maps to the Stars’ Category

Maps to the Stars

Maps to the Stars poster.jpgAh the cesspool that is Hollywood.  Cronenberg is back with his take on how atrocious actors and producers can be in the land of ego’s. The film stars Julianne Moore as Havana.  Imagine Lindsay Lohan in 30 years and that’s basically the gist of Havana.  She’s a big name actress but her star is fading fast, and she still pretends to be a young starlet.  She has dinner with producers, having sex with them, talking loudly while pursing her lips the entire time.  She runs in to all sorts of other Hollywood big wigs always asking to “put her in their next movie!”  She has strong Hollywood ties, but she’s entering the years where roles are hard to come by.

Havana hires Agatha Weiss, the sister of famous child actor Benji Weiss and daughter of high profile Hollywood psychologist Dr. Stafford (John Cusack).  Havana is one of Dr. Stafford’s patients, but doesn’t realize Agatha is his daughter.  Agatha is estranged from her family, having lived in Florida and becoming burned in a fire.  She is back in L.A. to try and find a way to make amends with her family, and she in turn hires Jerome (Robert Pattinson) to be her driver to run errands for Havana.  Jerome is a struggling actor looking for his first big break like most actors in L.A.

Agatha’s brother Benji is the typical child actor.  He had tons of success on a hit show, made a shitload of money, and then proceeded to get a nasty drug problem and land himself in rehab.  He’s pushed by his mother to stay on the straight and narrow and prove it the producers he meets with.  He needs to get back in their good graces to land that next high profile gig.

I don’t know how Julianne Moore does it.  She can be such a thankless, spiteful character but still you love her.  She’s as shallow as they come and act’s like a spoiled teenager.  She has her demon’s that play themselves out on the screen amongst all these characters mentioned.  Maps to the Stars follows all of these characters in fact, as they intertwine and battle their demon’s brought on by fame or lack their of.  Moore is the most interesting of all these characters but the interplay of the rest of them makes for an interesting examination of the Hollywood lifestyle.

Maps to the Stars isn’t the best Cronenberg film but it sits somewhere near the top end of his vast catalog.  The film is one of his lowest budget films to date, and coming on the heels of the disaster that is Cosmopolis and the bore of a film A Dangerous Method, Maps to the Stars feels fresh and is hopefully yet another boost for Cronenberg’s vision.

Grade: B+