Maps to the Stars (2014)

Maps to the Stars (2014)
  • Time: 111 min
  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: David Cronenberg
  • Cast: Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, Mia Wasikowska


The Weiss family is the archetypical Hollywood dynasty: father Stafford is an analyst and coach, who has made a fortune with his self-help manuals; mother Cristina mostly looks after the career of their son Benjie, 13, a child star. One of Stafford’s clients, Havana, is an actress who dreams of shooting a remake of the movie that made her mother, Clarice, a star in the 60s. Clarice is dead now and visions of her come to haunt Havana at night… Adding to the toxic mix, Benjie has just come off a rehab program he joined when he was 9 and his sister, Agatha, has recently been released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania and befriended a limo driver Jerome who is also an aspiring actor.

One comment

  • Maps to the Stars plays out like a mix of Mulholland Drive and a Bret Easton Ellis adaptation about a group of vacuous, wealthy characters who are soulless self destructive train- wrecks. Taking place in the Hollywood hills, Cronenberg never over does it with cheap shots of self absorbed celebrates, but retains enough humanity from these creatures to be engaging enough. Both Julianne Moore and Olivia Williams spend most of the film in a state of hysterics and while they do a decent job, their characters can get quite annoying. Olivia Williams has also improved her American accent after her embarrassing attempt at one in the dreadful film Sabotage. Evan Bird is a standout as a damaged child star and he balances enough humanity with this spoiled brat to never let the character become an easy stereotype. John Cusak – there’s something about him in recent years that feels like he’s dead behind his eyes. He’s slightly more there than his recent phoned in roles, but he doesn’t bring anything to the film and Cronenberg frequent collaborator, Viggo Mortensen who was the original choice, might have made more of the character. Mia Wasikowska isn’t required to do much here and the girl seems to be comfortably playing within her limited range – it’s the same kind of under played performance that she’s done in recent roles like Stoker or The Double. There is some nice wit throughout the film, but ultimately the narrative has nowhere to go and ends up feeling as empty and pointless as the character’s lives. A bizarre scene involving digital fire is laughably bad. The film is watchable, but makes no lasting impression.

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