Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

First trailer to Maps to the Stars

We have promising footage of the latest from David Cronenberg.

Mon, Apr 14, 2014, 22:42


Are we supposed to be worrying about David Croneberg yet? I don’t think so. Cosmopolis really was an enormous disappointment. A Dangerous Method wasn’t quite what we hoped it would be. But that’s just two films. Before those, we got a brace of pictures that sit comfortably in the upper layers of the Cronenberg canon: Eastern Promises and A History of Violence. I think we can still dare to hope for the very best from Canada’s finest.

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There is much to like in this trailer. I don’t mean that it’s a good trailer. mind. The holding-place song by (thank you, Dr Shazam) fellow-Canucks Scarlett Jane is fairly woeful. And the clich├ęd structure — watch for the weary surge of fast cutting at 1’25″ or so — is more than a little painful. But the images do promise much. Maps to the Stars is written by Bruce Wagner, who gave us the freaky TV series Wild Palms, and the film appears to be making further digs at the weirdness of southern Californian society. John Cusack and Olivia Williams play a filthy-rich couple with a son who is forging a career as a child star. The increasingly impressive Mia Wasikowska plays their pyromaniac daughter. It goes on from there.

The decadence of LA is the sort of subject that could bring out the best in late Cronenberg and the cast certainly seems impeccable. We are still waiting for somebody to properly exploit the talent and intelligence of which Robert Pattinson is not in short supply. He did good work for Cronenberg in Cosmopolis, but the script was an appalling dud. There is every chance it could come together here. Your friends at Screenwriter are betting on caching it at Cannes. We hold breath until then.