Cosmopolis Review Roundup – Part 3REVIEWS: Roundup Collections of
Below are some excerpts from the most recent Cosmopolis reviews.
Cinema Blographer.com Pat
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.
Den of Geek.com James Peaty
Despite these stumbles, it’s Cronenberg’s fidelity to the novel that ultimately helps place the film within its correct context, which is: it’s very much a work inspired and influenced by the movies made by directors such as Godard, Fellini, Truffaut and Antonioni in the mid-to-late-1960s. Theirs was a cinema of ideas, abstractions and metaphor that was less concerned with plot or naturalistic dialogue and instead accentuated the value of framing, performance, scene composition and the mood that the film evoked. However, if you’re interested in seeing a top-of-the-line director working with great actors and provocative material in a form that English language cinema seems to have all but turned its back on, then Cronenberg’s latest is definitely worth both your time and money.
DIY.com Becky Reed
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.
Dork Shelf.com Andrew Parker
If it seems like I’m focusing too much on Pattinson’s performance and resorting a bit to summarizing the film, that’s because other than talking about a whole lot of lofty concepts – many of which are left purposefully vague as per the novel’s vision – this actually amount to being more of an actor’s showcase than it would be a triumph for Cronenberg as a director. It’s probably, after much mulling over, one of his better films in terms of structure and audacity, but not really as a filmmaker. There’s nothing particularly wrong with letting the material supercede any sort of artistic vision, but Cronenberg seems almost too complacent to let DeLilo’s legendarily lengthy dialogues take over while adding little to them. It’s lovingly crafted and purposefully cold to the touch, but it also feels like an ingredient is missing to make it feel like anything other than a straight ahead reading of a text.
Hey U Guys.com Will Jones
There is plenty of good stuff in there. It’s a very timely film – it would be nice to think that some Twihards will come in just for R-Patz and leave turned on to the 99% and Occupy movements. It also sounds fantastic. Cronenberg’s regular collaborator Howard Shore turns in a great moody electronic score, as well as teaming up with Canadian indie-electro band Metric for a couple of tracks. And acting-wise, it is a tour de force.
Love Film.com Tom Charity
Crucially, it’s a satire first and foremost, a cool but not an altogether unsympathetic portrait of a modern man, cocooned from the outside world whether he likes it or not by technology, luxury and financial imperative. Packer may be a billionaire (though his stock is depleting as the picture goes on and the Chinese yuan continues to thwart his best predictions) but like the rest of us he’s consumed by work.
Montreal Mirror.com Malcolm Fraser
The film is bound to frustrate Cronenberg’s hardcore base (not to mention Twihards), but the fact is that he’s been defying expectations for a long time. Yes, he’s the guy who made Videodrome, but he’s also the director of Naked Lunch, M. Butterfly, Spider and Crash. Ultimately, he’s an old-school art filmmaker who continually challenges his audience. You may or may not enjoy it, but you have to admire his audacity.
Movie Marker.co.uk Darryl Griffiths
Overwhelming in its deconstruction of so many subject matters, it’s certainly too unusual and talky for the mainstream. For the more open-minded among us however, ‘Cosmopolis’ is an engrossing piece of cinema saturated in social resonance and intellect that deserves its intricacies to be deciphered.
New Statesman.com Ryan Gilbey
In its favour, the film has Pattinson. Part of his success in evoking Eric’s contradictions is down to physiognomy: the upper half of his face, where his oversized eyes bulge from beneath a curved shell of forehead, seems engorged by cerebral activity, while his boxy jaw juts forward a fraction like Ted Hughes’s Iron Man. He brings hunger but also delicacy. Asking his driver where all the limousines go at night, he’s like Holden Caulfield fretting about Central Park’s ducks when the lake freezes over. It’s human experience that Eric finds hard to process. His sensibility is so rooted in abstraction, he barely notices the demonstrators vandalising his limo; he can’t see that they have turned it into a makeshift Rothko, spray-painting a red-and-black fuzz across its windows.
NY Times.com Manohla Dargis
Mr. Cronenberg does wonders with both the camera, especially inside the tight confines of limo, where many of the scenes are set, and with his star, coaxing a performance from Mr. Pattinson that perfectly works for the movie’s sepulchral air. Initially, when Packer slides into his limo, he seems like another master of the universe with shades, a bespoke suit and the otherworldly air of the super-rich.
Press Plus 1.com Kindah Mardam Bey
I would like to say Cosmopolis is the most important Canadian film of this century to date, but already we have had outstanding and poignant stories like Incendies from Canada, that define and defy how we relate to cinema. By being unable to quickly identify Cosmopolis as the clear front-runner of Canadian cinema makes me delighted at the thought of how good the competition has been in Canada for great cinema since the start of this century. Cosmopolis is a defining film of our time and should do incredibly well in the theatres, if it doesn’t we need not worry as this film’s relevancy will prove itself for decades to come.
Slant Magazine.com Budd Wilkens
An all-too-briefly glimpsed, Occupy-ish protest involving rats and self-immolation suggests another longstanding Cronenberg theme: terrorism as performance art. Everything leads up to a confrontation with a former employee (Paul Giamatti), the source of that aforementioned credible threat. By far the longest exchange in Cosmopolis’s otherwise brisk forward rush, their loopy banter could easily have lost traction entirely and spun off into caricature, but Giamatti and Pattinson manage to keep it viable. Moreover, the final scene’s squalor and moral rot provides a distinct visual echo of Videodrome’s finale, while Packer’s speculations on violence and its roots plays like an explicit reprise of A History of Violence.
Sound on Sight.com Edgar Chaput
Aided some some unorthodox, impressive visuals (attained through comparably simple methods. Always a nice touch), Cosmopolis has little nuggets of gold waiting to be discovered and enjoyed by the viewers. It features an impressively eclectic cast with a few truly stellar performances, and explores a few compelling ideas that people wrestle with till this very day. That being said, the dialogue is where the film suffers most. It is too clinical and too determined to make many of the characters come across as philosophers as opposed to real people. That may be all fine and dandy in a book, but on film the results disappoint. Not a bad film by any definition, but proceed with caution.
Uptown Mag.com Nicholas Friesen
Again, like Limits of Control, all of this non-action is leading towards something — and it’s a beautiful payoff. Other than the loss of his fortune, the main issue is that Packer is being stalked throughout the film by an unknown assailant. In the final act, Pattinson faces off against Paul Giamatti, in a scene that is both terrifying and entertaining. It’s a lot of fun to watch these two actors trading barbs, and it brings to mind another Cronenberg film, A History of Violence, in which William Hurt faces off against Viggo Mortensen. Hurt received an Oscar nomination for the climactic scene (which lasted less than 10 minutes) and it wouldn’t be a shocker if Giamatti was recognized for his work here.
View London.com Matthew Turner
The surprisingly prescient novel (which seems, among other things, to have predicted the financial crisis) is concerned with personal alienation in a world where business, information, money, love, sex, happiness (basically, everything) are losing all meaning. To that end, Cronenberg’s casting of Robert Pattinson is a stroke of genius, as his haunted eyes and seemingly blank, strikingly attractive face are perfectly suited to a man who has everything he could possibly want at the age of 28 and wonders what else is left; Pattinson, in turn, rewards Cronenberg’s faith in him with his best performance to date, indicating that there may be life after Twilight for him after all.