Here’s a great Cosmopolis review from Miami.com
Cosmopolis is mostly about the journey, not the destination. In adapting Don LeLillo’s once-ridiculed but now uncannily prescient 2003 novel, director David Cronenberg has kept the premise intact: A 28-year-old billionaire, Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), takes a limo ride across New York City in search of a haircut. The president happens to be in town that day, so traffic is snarled even more than usual.
What’s eating Eric Packer, and why should we care? These are the wrong questions to ask of Cosmopolis, which is most certainly one of Cronenberg’s “weird” movies, told in unreliable first-person (Crash, Naked Lunch, Spider, eXistenZ) instead of his more accessible, popular pictures (The Fly, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises.) Is there any other esteemed director who would dare make such an aggressively divisive film at this stage of his career? Cronenberg is 69, but he’s still interested in exploring and experimenting with his medium. Every shot in Cosmopolis is precise, every edit exact. The score by Howard Shore, a frequent Cronenberg collaborator, sounds like airbrushed metal and ostentation, but with a coiled threat of menace.
Cosmopolis may be a cerebral mood piece, but it is loaded with strong performances that connect on an emotional level. Samantha Morton does wonders with an enormous monologue warning Eric about the financial icebergs toward which he’s floating: You can’t make sense of anything she’s saying, but you can’t help be transfixed by her. Juliette Binoche pops up for a quick, sweaty cameo as Eric’s art dealer and friend with benefits. Paul Giamatti is a bitter man whose place in society was deemed obsolete by Eric’s brave new world but who now has nothing to do: He’s been relegated to the junk heap, and he’s not happy.
But the movie wouldn’t work without Pattinson, who is in every scene and holds the film together with his portrayal of a magnetic tycoon rotting on the inside — a disillusioned man who, having amassed everything he could possibly want, asks if that’s all there is. This is just one possible reading of Cosmopolis: Viewers with the stamina to make it to the end (discipline is required) may have differing interpretations of the final scene, which is often been true of Cronenberg’s best movies. DeLillo’s book, inspired by the dotcom bubble burst, was critical of how online entrepreneurs had reduced the power of money to an abstract commodity (“What does it mean to spend money? A dollar. A million.”)