May 19th, 2014 / 2 Comments

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I know we are a little late to the party, but Map to the Stars had 2 press screenings today and from what I’ve seen the overall reaction seems to be extremely positive.  I saw last week someone said that Julianne Moore’s performance is her best to date and that perhaps she should be nominated for awards.  I hope that’s the case because I’ve always thought she was outstanding and very underrated.  Here’s a selection.  I’ll keep updating through the day:

The Playlist:

But good news is here, because the Canadian director’s latest, “Maps To The Stars,” just premiered at Cannes, and while it’s substantially different from the “Videodrome“s and “Crash“es of the world, and probably rather more disposable, it’s certainly the director’s most twisted, and as a consequence, most deliciously entertaining film, in quite a long while. (B+)

The Wrap:

To that end, Maps to the Stars Home dips elegantly into the surreal and the real, bobbing in and out of both effortlessly. You never see the strings. Much of this is clearly due to the writing — this is one hell of a script. But it is also a well-oiled machine, with actors knowing exactly what tone is required and a director who, of course, can’t help but dive right in.  That makes Maps of the Stars probably the most exciting, unexpected surprise of the film festival so far.  … Pattinson and Cronenberg are developing a nice collaboration, however, and here’s to hoping we get to see more from the two of them.

Toronto Star

The film unfolds like the grandest of Greek tragedies, where flaws and secrets within its otherwise powerful and successful characters are about to erupt like a volcano or tsunami — and indeed, the contrasting elements of fire and water are shot through Wagner’s brutally amusing script.

The Guardian

Maps to the Stars is a tense and scary movie, unwholesome in the hold that it has on the audience. Perhaps, in the end, it is too extravagantly cynical to be entirely truthful about Hollywood and LA, but it has a Jacobean power, the kind of thing that John Webster or Thomas Middleton and William Rowley might write if they were living in the 21st century: a claustrophobic nightmare of despair.  (4 Stars)

Twitch Film

Julianne Moore’s raw power is on display, but the Blanche DuBois act feels equally wrought. Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson are perfectly fine. Newcomer Evan Bird can spout “Jew cunt” as written on the page and come across as douchey when called for, but his venom comes across more as school-bully than truly demonic child actor.

Little White Lies:

True to style, David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars is a work of cinematic fusion. Like the weeping vagina hidden underneath Marylin Burns’ armpit, here we have a bracingly blasé investigation into unmentionable family taboos which has been forcibly integrated onto the body of a noxious (and not wholly convincing) La La Land burlesque. There are no waspish one-liners or ironic rib-nudges here — this is a punk jeremiad which rams your face into the constipated asshole of Hollywood. The thrill of watching the film comes from attempting to locate the strained sinews where these two strange sides converge — or, as the film would have it, finding “the flesh that says yes”.

The Telegraph:

There are so many snakes in play, it takes a while to work out which fangs connect to which rattle. The first is Agatha, the young woman from the coach, played by Mia Wasikowska. She’s come to town ostensibly to help the actress Carrie Fisher, whom she befriended on Twitter, to write a novel – “although it might become something for HBO,” she blithely tells Jerome, a chauffeur and would-be actor winningly played by Robert Pattinson. (5 stars)

The Independent:

Map To The Stars … Its protagonists are all equally obnoxious but the film takes a perverse joy is showing up their shortcomings. This is high class soap opera with a cerebral twist. Its sudden shifts in tone are disconcerting but it is funny, ghoulish and has plenty of satirical bite.


Maps to the Stars” captures the depths of madness plaguing Hollywood culture that other recent attempts at similar territory, such as “The Canyons” and “Trust Me,” achieved to far lesser effect. Cronenberg turns Hollywood into a haven of grotesqueries that so thoroughly consumes its inhabitants they can’t see it around them.

The Hollywood Reporter :

The women and the youngsters have the best roles here; Moore and Wasikowska throw themselves into theirs, mostly to good effect but at times over-recklessly, while Williams provides a mortifying picture of a Hollywood monster mom. Bird is precociously impressive as a kid who should be sentenced to boot camp and then Afghanistan, while Cusack and Pattinson are indifferent in dimensionless roles.

This Canadian-German co-production looks sharp but, in the end, comes off like a prank more than a coherent take on 21st century Hollywood, even if there are crumbs of truth and wit scattered throughout it


I think “Maps to the Stars” is more entertaining (in a decidedly ghoulish way) than “Cosmopolis” was, but I think it is just as hobbled, both thematically and dramatically. One of the things that I find most immediately mystifying about the film is that, considering all the people involved and their collective decades and decades of experience in and around Hollywood, it curiously feels like they’re describing a place they have only a passing knowledge of, a place they know mainly by reputation and fantasy.

… I was surprised to see Pattinson play only a few scenes here.  He’s fine, but there’s nothing about the role that is particularly memorable, and I don’t think anyone else would have gotten anything more out of it.

Screen Daily

With its permeable line between life and death, incest themes and its anger-fuelled satirical animus against the rich and famous, Maps to the Stars traces at least part of its ancestry all the way back to Ancient Greece and Rome. It’s a baggy, audacious mix that makes up in brio what it lacks in dramatic coherence.  And Cronenberg’s go-to composer, Howard Shore, delivers one of his best scores yet for the dry Canadian maestro, a menacing undertow that picks up on some of the ethnic, New Age sounds of the world it depicts, but shifts them into Clockwork Orange territory.

Cronenberg’s map doesn’t lead to a satisfying destination in a typical story sense, but it is a remarkable quest. For a movie that has so many problems, it is one of the more watchable ones.

The Film Stage

It’s a film that, more than any other work from Cronenberg, seems largely stilted, too unfocused to bring together a cohesive narrative thread, and one that suddenly zooms for an ending that feels entirely undercooked.


This is the most overtly comedic screenplay Cronenberg has ever directed, but he hasn’t adapted his lensing or editing style to reflect that. The laughs come anyway, although some of Wagner’s funniest moments are left to languish.

Film 4

A sublime black comedy of manners involving characters with lives as lurid as any in Kenneth Anger’s trash opus Hollywood Babylon (that infamous book’s sales blurb — “the legendary underground classic of Hollywood’s darkest and best kept secrets” — could, with only a little rewording, double as a tagline.



Ken Adams
MAPS TO THE STARS: Croney is back, he’s fucking back to his days of CRASH! Brilliant satire on Hollywood, and Julianne slays. #Cannes2014″

Scott Foundas
Life as an endless series of remakes: Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS is a wickedly smart Hollywood satire with a serrated edge. #cannes

Matt Risley
Well Maps to the Stars is a bit brilliant/insane. #Cannes2014

Catherine Bray
If I was in change of the Palme d’Or, I’d give it to Cronenberg. Maps to the Stars review for @Film4 here … #cannes2014

Total Film
Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars is a deliciously warped satire of Hollywood’s debauched excesses. A bit mad and a bit brilliant. #Cannes

Jesse Wente
@jessewenteCongrats to David C, @martinfkatz and the whole MAPS TO THE STARS team. I laughed, I gasped, I laughed again! #Cannes


There’s more like the above tweets, but you get the gist!

  • lise-lou
    Posted on May 19, 2014

    Oh I get the gist and the gist sounds awesome wooohooo can’t wait to see it, thanks for putting these together Maria 😊

  • Trish
    Posted on May 20, 2014

    Loving these reviews! Makes me want to see the film even more!

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