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New York is in turmoil, the age of capitalism is drawing to a close and Eric Packer, a high finance golden boy is chauffeured across the city in his extravagant limousine to get a haircut. A visit from the President of the United States paralyses Manhattan and as the day goes by, an eruption of wild activity unfolds on the city's streets. Eric watches helplessly as his empire collapses and as his paranoia intensifies during the 24-hour period, he starts to piece together clues that lead him to a most terrifying secret: his imminent assassination.
The union of director David Cronenberg and Twilight star Robert Pattinson is hardly a predictable one, but the pair prove quite the combination with Cosmopolis. A drama set across 24 hours in New York City, the film sees Pattinson as Eric, a rich asset manager on a trip across Manhattan in a luxury limousine. But it's no ordinary trip: with Manhattan preparing for the visit of the President of the United States, things soon start to go very, very wrong for Eric.
Cronenberg wrote the script as well as directing here, and Cosmopolis is a challenging, slow film, that treats its audience with intelligence. Pattinson works hard in the lead role, with considerable success, and the supporting players, including Paul Giamatti, Juliette Binoche and Samantha Morton are excellent, too.
Cosmopolis may not be as accessible as Cronenberg's films that more immediately preceded it, but it's a film with real substance to it, from a genuinely great director. The disc explores that, too, with the key extra feature being a documentary that goes into the making of Cosmopolis. Backed up by interviews with those involved, it's an involving piece, that digs deeper into an already-interesting film.
Whilst Cosmopolis isn't David Cronenberg at his very best, it's still an interesting, important and engaging piece of work. A film that comes strongly recommended. --Jon Foster --This text refers to the DVD edition.
Top customer reviews
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On the surface, this is a movie about a hyperwealthy upstart named Eric (Robert Pattinson) taking his limo across New York to get a haircut. On the way he converses coldly with various associates and advisers, as well as his wife, Elise (Sarah Gadon). Then there is a final showdown with his would-be assassin, heartbreakingly played by Paul Giamatti.
The simple story is the surface upon a deep thematic lake. Really, it is about humanity in the modern technological age. It poses questions about how, in a world where we've myriad means of communicating in virtual realms, we struggle to communicate face-to-face. Cosmopolis concludes that technology has distanced us from each other, and by extension our selves.
The film goes out of its way to alienate us. Over 100 minutes, there isn't much in the way of standard plotting. Characters come and go without "arcs". The protagonist is, for the most part, an apathetic entity. But gradually a trickle of humanity seeps through. It becomes apparent that Eric is returning to his past - his birth - and it inspires him to confront his death. The final confrontation is an explosion of emotion, made all the more moving by the heartless dialogues that preceded it.
Pattinson, all beauty and blankness, proves to be ideal for the role of the drifting satellite at the film's centre, providing the gravity for a cast of orbiting philosophers. Cronenberg writes cleverly, all verbosity bouncing back and forth, landing nowhere. He films his claustrophobic nightmare in uncomfortable close-up, first with symmetry and light, and later, as we draw closer to the hidden human being, with disorder and darkness.
Cosmopolis is ambitious. It's unusual. It's intelligent. It's art.
But the wealthy 28-year-old's vast fortune rests on the value of the yuan, which he continually monitors from the comfort of his stretch limo......
If you can get one positive from this movie, it's the fact that Pattinson can actually carry a film and won't be remembered as that guy from Twilight. He could have so easily chosen the Hollywood blockbuster path, but he chose the more risqué path, and to work with Cronenberg would be an actors dream.
Its a shame then that their first collaboration is this piece of pretentious tosh. Its hilarious when you read others comments on how intellectual the film is, and how one mustn't appreciate cinema if one doesn't get it.
Having read the original source, one realises that the story should be read, not viewed, this is why the film is incoherent, it's as if Pattinson is moving from one bizarre scene to the next, and if you haven't read the source, instead of seeing this again, read it how it was meant to be read.
Great performance from Pattinson, very poor film.
Watch Maps To The Stars instead....
Most recent customer reviews
That blonde woman's hair was really nice though.
Easily the worst film I can recall watching. Even tops Mamma Mia.