Cosmopolis Review Roundup – Part 4REVIEWS: Roundup Collections of
More reviews of Cosmopolis; these are excerpts, please click on the source title for the full review. More review collections to follow…
Just for the record, I thought Cosmopolis a remarkable, finely crafted, and thought-provoking film, and very, very interesting when viewed in light of Cronenberg’s body of work; for all his faithfulness to DeLillo’s text, he’s made it his own, and the film will be very rewarding to anyone who has thought in depth about the themes and motifs in his earlier films. There’s even what seems to be a deliberate backwards-looking element to the film, a conscious evocation of Cronenberg’s previous cinema, with music designed to remind one of Crash, a title sequence that does with abstract expressionism what Spider did with mold, an old-fashioned barbershop at the film’s climax that suggests Eastern Promises, and an intense engagement with language that brings to mind Stereo. In ways, it would be a perfect film for the director to retire on, though I hope he has no plans to do anything of the sort. Be prepared to do mental work, however, if you see it; lazy viewing (a passive desire to be entertained) will not be rewarded, and it IS a talky film. [No Rating]
Pattinson has made a very conscious choice to direct his acting career away from the Twilight franchise and squarely in that of renowned directors and more complicated material. He pulls this off to great effect as the film leaves its leading man nowhere to hide in regards to his acting ability and screen presence. With unabashed sexual scenes, welding a handgun and one character confirming his actual real eye colour, this is Robert Pattinson’s acting manifesto and it builds on the promise he has shown with characters not given the same range as found in Eric Packer.
Cosmopolis is not going to be for everyone. It is not a relaxing Friday night movie and does have a tendency to lag by the beginning of the third act, though does redeem itself in the final scenes. When the Cronenbergian violence does come it’s a relief, if not an antidote, to all the intricate multi-layered conversations that have preceded it. Love it or hate it, Cosmopolis is going to create a reaction and likely a source of many university film studies papers. [Rating: 4/5 stars]
David Cronenberg hasn’t been this Cronenbergian in a while: so icy-calm, intellectual and bleakly funny. [...] Cronenberg’s trick is to maintain a perfect equilibrium between barking-mad pretension and towering relevance. The film plays partly as caustic joke at its own importance. It could just be a horror movie.
Don DeLillo’s novel is a good fit for cinema’s Doctor Strange, the esteemed American author observes human foibles with scientific scrutiny and elegant detachment. His book, published in 2003, was a frighteningly prescient critique of a meltdown to come: a study in extreme close-up of this master of the universe, cocooned in data, purring through the steel canyons of Manhattan, quietly engineering his own downfall.
Frustrations but not catastrophes, and final words must go to Robert Pattinson’s terrific performance. A mesmerising, magnetic anti-presence, the perfect redeployment of the pin-up cheekbones and blue-grey eyes of the R-Pattz myth. As the camera gazes deeper into his frozen face, we detect a concerto of tiny twitches, lurking smirks and trickles of terrifying sweat — micro-fluctuations in the sanity of a man who has everything. [Rating 4/5 stars]
Pattinson (who is excellent in a difficult role) plays a dead-eyed billionaire named Eric Packer, a finely tailored humanoid who is like capitalism itself made flesh [...]
COSMOPOLIS is evidence of a director pouring his intellect and soul into a film that is even colder, more calculated, impenetrable and alien than any other genre film he has ever attempted before. It makes RABID look like an episode of YO GABBA GABBA. It makes the psychological miasma of SPIDER seem like THE BIG BANG THEORY, the sex/car weirdness of CRASH play like SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT. It’s a difficult film to like, and demands its audience immerse itself in its insect-like intellect and quietly unfolding, aloof narrative. It most certainly is a difficult film, but for serious fans and scholars of the director’s unique and unwavering world view, it is both essential and immensely rewarding. [Rating: 3.5/4 stars]
Very well played by Pattinson as a mash of guile and naivety, Packer would have made a good patient for the subjects of A Dangerous Method, Cronenberg’s previous movie. Doctors Freud and Jung would have loved to analyze this road warrior with their “talking cure” methods.
We might quibble with the emphasis Cronenberg places on dialogue, on the staginess of his sets and on the relative lack of action. This is not the return to the visceral Cronenberg of old that the first trailer implied.
What we can’t argue is that Cosmopolis is the work of a master filmmaker, one who is determined to have us think about the ideas packed into the trunk of this limo bound for the furthest corners of the psyche. [No Rating]
While Cronenberg likes to call himself lazy (I think it’s his sense of humour), he busily assembled an intriguing cast and put them to work with a flourish. Adopting a convincing American accent, Pattinson aces the role despite his panic attacks before the film starting shooting in Toronto. [...But] Paul Giamatti — the only American in a co-starring role — plays opposite Pattinson in a 22-minute duet at the end that becomes both the climax and the conscience of the enterprise.
Cosmopolis will certainly baffle some, bore others. I cannot imagine what Twihards will think. But it is intelligent and stylish cinema, an antidote to the time-wasters than occupy so many theatres during the silly summer season. [Rating: 3.5/?]
While Cronenberg likes to call himself lazy (I think it’s his sense of humour), he busily assembled an intriguing cast and put them to work with a flourish. You get the wonderfully virile Kevin Durand as the security chief; Sarah Gadon as the icy blond princess who refuses Packer sex as his new wife; and Juliette Binoche as his mature lover. The trio of Emily Hampshire, Jay Baruchel and Samantha Morton are among Packer’s business advisors. But Paul Giamatti — the only American in a co-starring role — plays opposite Pattinson in a 22-minute duet at the end that becomes both the climax and the conscience of the enterprise.
Cosmopolis will certainly baffle some, bore others. I cannot imagine what Twihards will think. But it is intelligent and stylish cinema, an antidote to the time-wasters than occupy so many theatres during the silly summer season. [Rating 3.5/5 stars]
While heartthrob Robert Pattinson is in every scene of David Cronenberg’s latest film, the Canadian director makes no concessions to the mainstream in his adaptation of Don DeLillo’s satirical novel of the same name.
The theatrically scripted tale of a finance kingpin’s long limousine drive across New York City as guests climb in and out has sci-fi undertones and a suspended sense of time that demand a willingness to go along for the ride. [...] This is not, for the most part, Cronenberg the macabre (though that side of him does surface). Nor is it the more subdued, plot-driven Cronenberg we saw in last year’s A Dangerous Method. It is a mix of the two: a contained, quirky film in which he lets his weird side shine through in the details.
[...] this film rests squarely on Pattinson’s broad shoulders, and in the brooding features of his perfectly chiselled face. Cronenberg is at play in this slippery, surreal affair that is best appreciated with open ears and an open mind – and begs to be seen twice. [Rating 3.5/5]
Total Film Rob James
Tantalising images flash by in the teaser for Cosmopolis, indicating that director David Cronenberg is blazing back to his dark, florid psycho-horror heritage after the taut austerity of A Dangerous Method. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only is Cosmopolis more talky and less cinematic than Cronenberg’s previous drama, it might just be the weirdest movie of the year
Cinematographer Peter Suschitzky’s precise, clinical visuals put Pattinson under intense scrutiny. But he chews through the challenge of Cronenberg’s immensely literate script – lifted hand over hand from the prose in Don DeLillo’s dense, stylish novel – with real confidence. [Rating: 3/5 stars]
Although in parts inspired, DeLillo’s 2003 novel Cosmopolis can be counted among his malfunctions. Fortunately on film, where we’re willing to tolerate the absence of robust metaphor for the sake of spectacle and atmosphere, Cosmopolis thrives. [...] The film’s major failing was originally the novel’s: DeLillo was unable to resolve the story in a satisfying conclusion. [...] Nevertheless, Cosmopolis continues Cronenberg’s purple period as a writer/director, which began with Eastern Promises and A History of Violence. Indeed, by framing the novel in his characteristically symmetrical, distancing lens, Cronenberg frequently finds passage where DeLillo met dead ends.
Pattinson well portrays Packer’s sneer of cold command, the Hamlet-like nausea of youth surveying humanity and seeing nothing of value — value in Packer’s case being the unexpected.