Cosmopolis

cosmopolis

If you can get past the psychological density of the source material (Don DeLillo's 2003 novel) and the tabloid noise around the star (RPatz leaves KStew!), this mesmerizing mind-bender ought to prove two things: (1) Robert Pattinson really can act; (2) Director David Cronenberg never runs from a challenge. Pattinson stars as Eric Packer, a master of the universe at 28 but still helpless to stop his financial world from collapsing as he rides around Manhattan in a white stretch limo. Destination: haircut. That's it: one day, one limo. But DeLillo crowded that day with incident. And Cronenberg, a master recalling his surreal work on eXistenZ and Naked Lunch, adapts the novel with a poet's eye and a keen ear for language. Eric has hermetically sealed himself inside a limo designed to block out every trace of the outside world. Inside, Eric can ignore the Occupy Wall Street-like protests from the 99 percent, consult with his geek chief (Jay Baruchel) and his money guru (Emily Hampshire), submit to a prostate exam, have sex with his mistress (Juliette Binoche), and get out for disturbing meetings with his wife (Sarah Gadon) and a disgruntled former employee (Paul Giamatti). Working with gifted cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, Cronenberg creates a crumbling world in microcosm. In this fever dream of a movie, Pattinson is incendiary, notably in a climactic gun scene with the great Giamatti. Cosmopolis, demanding as it is daring, is no easy ride. I mean that as high praise.

From The Archives Issue 1164: August 30, 2012
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