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From DIY 

Following his interesting but relatively conventional thrillers A History Of Violence and Eastern Promises, and the intelligent but alarmingly strait-laced Freud/Jung drama A Dangerous Method, comes a refreshingly bold David Cronenberg film.

The man who brought us The Fly and Videodrome tackles Don DeLillo’s complex novel, not exactly one of the admired author’s most acclaimed works. However, Cronenberg seems to have found himself a new muse in the form of Robert Pattinson.

The British actor is a revelation as 28-year-old billionaire Eric Packer, who goes on an unusual odyssey through a rioting Manhattan, conducting his business in the back of his high-tech limousine. There’s an oddly unsettling futuristic and dystopian feel to Cosmopolis, although its themes are scarily current. As Packer is chauffered across the the city to get a haircut, he keeps an anxious eye on Wall Street, fascinated by his empire’s ruin as the Chinese yuan rises.


It’s hard to imagine another actor making such a remarkable impact as Pattinson. In every single wordy scene, he is incredible, from his subtly twitchy opening frame to the warped sexual tension displayed during his medical exam and how masterfully he utters every challenging line, imbuing them with world-weariness and logic. It’s a breakthrough performance for the Twilight star, who has consistently chosen interesting projects despite his heart-throb status, and Cronenberg’s brave casting has paid off. Pattinson is riveting throughout – there is a maelstrom of fierce intelligence in his financial wunderkind, bubbling under a controlled stoniness. It’s a layered performance, one of the best of the year, that makes the often pretentious and unrelatable theories believable and compelling. Pattinson holds this stagey yet visually memorable film together, even when it unravels unsatisfyingly – he makes the film worth your while. You won’t see another film starring an A-list idol this brave for a long time.


More after the jump!

From Konekt:

His name is Eric Packer and he is, ostensibly, on a quest for a haircut. But this objective is smoke-and-mirrors, we quickly learn, because Mr. Packer is out to appease his body and mind. He wants ultimate satisfaction, whether that be physical or intellectual. He is a multi-billionaire whose riches have incarcerated him in a desensitized life of debauchery and fruitless excursions in his coffin-like stretch limo.

This is the low-down for Canadian auteur David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s 2003 novel.

This might explain why Cosmopolis works: in spite of the deadness of the characters and oblique nature of DeLillo’s narrative, Cronenberg imbues this aimless tale with slithery urgency. His movie has a slick exterior, but it’s not all body. Cosmopolis is very cerebral, perhaps uncompromisingly so, completed with characters from prostitutes to lowlives who nevertheless can articulate themselves with academic precision.

The movie stars Robert Pattinson as Packer. It’s a role of dead-calm coolness, strangely in the ballpark of the “romantic” deadpan of Edward Cullen in Twilight. It shows you performance style is anchored by the director’s vision, and Pattinson’s unsympathetic modus operandi is born for an Eric Packer. In fact, the whole film is deliberately unlovable and features brief performances by Juliette Binoche, Jay Baruchel, and Samantha Morton that earn our dismay, but nevertheless our attention.

At 108 minutes, Cosmopolis is aggressively talky. But unlike Cronenberg’s last filmA Dangerous Method, another dialogue-driven endeavour, Cosmopolis doesn’t feel nearly as earthbound in its narrative and Cronenberg no longer yields to drab formalisms. While this DeLillo adaptation has an undeniable staginess, it is rarely inert. Cronenberg’s visual style is alive and hands-on as ever, even if his knack for clarity is not. His ideas are like an action-painting, creativity tossed energetically on the canvas.

Cosmopolis confounds, and for many will frustrate with its brooding.

Team Edward’s should take note that Pattinson isn’t catering to their tweenish hearts. He is an unappealing protagonist who nevertheless holds an illuminating conscience. His moments with wife Elise (Sarah Gadon), bodyguard Torval (Kevin Durand), sex pal Kendra (Patricia McKenzie), and – wait for this one! – a pastry assassin (Diving Bell and the Butterfly\’s Mathieu Amalric) offer a real edge.

Unfortunately, the film’s talkiness runs out of breath by the last scene with the arrival of Benno (Paul Giamatti), a former employee of Eric who is out for justice. Cronenberg wants to go out with an intellectual bang, and to deliver a finale that leaves us with food for thought and poetic justice. But the climax rambles on, thus draining the potential for that impact. We’re left with the wrong question: why didn’t that slick flick pay off?

But hitherto, your mind will be racing. Trying to catch up with a film that, for once, has a mind of its own. Cosmopolis is a thinker’s movie that wrestles with DeLillo’s ideas/pretensions and, for the most part, comes out on top. It is thrilling to witness a noir Toronto in futuristic ruin, overwhelmed by protests far more damaging than a G-20 summit. The movie reeks of science-fiction. If you ask me, it is time for Cronenberg to turn to Mr. Philip K. Dick.


From Cinevue:

Canadian director David Cronenberg’s most recent strides in the world of film have been far less fantastically and brutally graphic than that of his earlier work such as Rabid (1977)Videodrome (1983) and The Fly (1986). Nonetheless, Cronenberg has retained a visceral quality omnipresent in a body of work that has covered over three decades, and 2012’s Cosmopolis – an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s book of the same name – is illustrative of a filmmaker still bent on cramming his movies with metaphor and social commentary.

Cosmopolis  sits somewhere between Cronenberg’s earlier corpus of gruesome body horror (without the outright visceral gore), and his more recent meditations on the darkness inherent in humanity, as seen in both A History of Violence (2005) andEastern Promises (2007). These recent films are in no way less vivid, imaginative or powerful than their predecessors, and if anything display the hallmarks of a director who has evolved and found a new means of expressing himself.
To successfully achieve yet another complex literary adaptation, Cronenberg has employed real wealth and diversity in talent to deliver his own interpretation ofCosmopolis. With Pattinson, star of The Twilight Saga, as his lead, Cronenberg clearly took something of a gamble in casting his enigmatic central protagonist. Regardless, Pattinson produces a performance rich in mood, tone and delivery, comfortably embracing a plot full of seriously bizarre and awkwardly funny moments, vindicating the Canadian master’s bold call. In support, Paul Giamatti, Juliette Binoche and Sarah Gadon are also well-chosen for their respective – if slight – roles.

Cosmopolis is a hugely timely piece that, during its production, fortuitously happened to mirror the various ‘Occupy’ movements taking place on a global scale. It’s cinematic release is certainly foreboding, telling a dark story – in typical Cronenbergian fashion – that is very close to home today; a stylish think-piece for our times.

4/5 stars

From TimeOut

David Cronenberg’s ‘Cosmopolis’ is a weird, heady and entrancing portrait of individual alienation in a super-rich, corporate world where money, sex, love, happiness and death are rapidly losing all meaning. It’s based on a 2003 novel by Don DeLillo, and while it offers some superficial relevance to the current financial crisis, and trades in some of its imagery and events (markets crashing, protests), this is not in any way a realist work. It takes Cronenberg back to territory he hasn’t explored since ‘eXistenZ’ and ‘Crash’ – this is also his first script since those films. It’s a psychosexual, more interior companion piece to films like ‘Inside Job’ and ‘Margin Call’.

‘Cosmopolis’ is an odyssey defined by a series of one-on-one encounters. There are prostate examinations, stripped bodies, sex, conversations about Rothko and souped-up chats on subjects such as the philosophies of financial security systems and how time is a corporate asset. Much of the talk makes no obvious sense: ‘Cosmopolis’ has the air of an experimental theatre piece and trades in heightened, eroticised language. You could say it tries to turn the mind of Packer inside-out: to make the psychological real. That’s tougher on film, surely, than in print, and ‘Cosmopolis’ is at its best when it’s otherworldly and aching with artifice. It’s at its worst when it becomes weighed down by an excessive, wearying wordiness, or when it steps out of the limo – the film’s self-imposed arena of surreality – and into a place more like the real world. ‘Cosmopolis’ threatens to soar and to be important, but it only offers flashes of lucidity; the limo is a mesmerising bubble that is quickly burst when the film leaves it.

That said, there’s a consistent air of charged, end-of-days menace running through the film, which Cronenberg handles with an unbroken sense of precision and confidence. He’s well served, too, by a leering, disintegrating Pattinson, giving a commanding, sympathetic portrait of a man being consumed by his own vanity and power.


From Cinemablographer

Pattinson makes an impressive career move as the laconic Eric Packer. Even though the steely tycoon speaks in the expressionless monotone of Edward Cullen, Pattinson gives the character a sense of removal that makes the whole film work. Cosmopolis might be Cronenberg’s most dialogue-heavy film yet, but Pattinson’s dry delivery of the emotionally vacant script brings the film to life. As played by Pattinson, Eric Packer is a hollow empty shell of a man with which to serve a healthy dose of Cronenbergian allegory. It’s often said that casting is 90% of directing, and Cronenberg certainly lands an A with this pleasant surprise.
As with every Cronenberg film or any film that demands attention and contemplation,Cosmopolis is of the ‘love it or hate it’ variety. Marking his first time as both writer and director since 1999’s eXistenZ, Cronenberg is back in the realm of cyber-psycho-sexual mind games in which he produces his best work. Cronenberg again works with some of his frequent collaborators including cinematographer Peter Suschitzky who gives a slick and intriguingly distorted portrait of the new millennium. Cosmopolis also features strong work by regular Cronenberg teammate Howard Shore who provides the music along with Metric and drives the film in a series of electro-pop crescendos à la Run Lola Run.Cosmopolis is best, though, as a piece of Cronenberg adaptation. Cosmopolis offers a strong vehicle for the director’s existential contemplation. The result is a dark and damning portrait of capitalism on its all-consuming ride to nowhere.
 4/5 stars
From Volkskrant (the Netherlands) 
De jonge, knappe multimiljardair Eric Parker oogt als een mannequin. Of beter nog: een machine. Uitdrukkingsloos spreekt hij in afgemeten zinnen over geld en seks, terwijl hij zich laat rondrijden in een eindeloos lange, smetteloos witte limousine, die als een reuzenslak door de overvolle straten van New York kruipt.
Parker, gespeeld door Twilight-ster Robert Pattinson, doet iets in de financiële wereld. Nooit wordt duidelijk waar hij zich mee bezig houdt, maar hij bedient zich van een duizelingwekkend jargon. Tegen de gasten in zijn gepantserde wagen oreert hij over de koers van de Thaise baht tegenover de Chinese yuan, of over afwijkingen in standaardmodellen waarmee hij economische ontwikkelingen denkt te voorspellen.Hij is zelfingenomen, nihilistisch en verschrikkelijk goed in wat hij doet. Af en toe ontvangt hij een waarschuwing van zijn chauffeur, die semi-begrijpelijke doodsbedreigingen via een oortje krijgt ingefluisterd. Buiten de auto is het chaos, waar een occupy-achtige beweging de Apocalyps voorspelt. Binnen ondergaat Parker het gevaar apathisch. Zelfs een rücksichtslose investering die het voortbestaan van zijn imperium op losse schroeven zet, doet hem ogenschijnlijk niets.Met zijn twintigste film schetst veteraan David Cronenberg een onwerkelijke wereld die eerder doet denken aan zijn vroegere experimentele cinema (Videodrome, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch) dan aan zijn conventionelere films van het afgelopen decennium (A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, A Dangerous Method).De casting van Pattinson blijkt een meesterzet. Het tieneridool, moe van zijn vampierenrol in Twilight, kiest daarmee wel voor vervreemding van zijn achterban. Cronenberg goochelt met verhaallogica, haalt de betekenis van woorden door elkaar en laat zijn personages toneelmatig langs elkaar praten. Paul Giamatti trapt in een sterke, menselijke bijrol als een van de weinigen een paar barstjes in dit op zichzelfstaande universum.

Cosmopolis is gebaseerd op de gelijknamige novelle uit 2003 van de Amerikaanse schrijver Don DeLillo, herkenbaar als inspirator van bijvoorbeeld Bret Easton Ellis. Maar de uitwerking van het verhaal doet veeleer denken aan het werk van theatermaker Bertolt Brecht.

Dat Cronenberg daarmee waarschijnlijk een stevig aantal kijkers afstoot, neemt hij op de koop toe. Cosmopolis is een hoogst originele, actuele film die het onbegrip rond de financiële wereld letterlijk in beelden vertaalt.

4/5 stars

Posted June 14, 2012 by fastieslowie in Cosmopolis, Robert Pattinson

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