Thursday, March 5, 2015

[Review] Maps to the Stars

David Cronenberg's erratic and dizzying Maps to the Stars offers up a repulsing portrait of the worst Tinseltown has to offer in this exploitation affair of Hollyweird psychodrama.

The incoherent narrative entails several Hollywood caricatures, starting with a young wide-eyed tourist (Mia Wasikowska) and a wannabe actor that doubles as a limo driver (Robert Pattinson). The two essentially have a name-dropping contest during the car ride, and from there, we pretty much know what we're in for (kind of). An aging and desperate actress (played by Julianne Moore) clamoring for an Oscar-worthy role, and a punchable teen phenom (Evan Bird), enter the picture and a poisonous web between the ensemble forms. Basically: they're all crazy AF.

Every matter is taken to constantly extreme degrees, and the film piles on the graphics and the shocks. Even though stuff really hits the fan, the empty and unlikable characters--along with the detached atmosphere render the whole experience as an eyebrow raiser where you don't feel much while watching it. As bizarre as it is, it is somewhat guiltily entertaining at points, like a bloated TMZ episode turned up to the max (and with a lot of fire), but it all eventually becomes exhausting.

Sure, this is all part of the point, and there's truth in its view of greed and nihilism, but that doesn't mean this film isn't a star-studded turn-off.


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