Sunday, October 21, 2012

David Cronenberg: Cosmopolis

Paul Giamatti, Robert Pattinson, Cosmopolis, Entertainment One, 2012.

One of our main modern masters, Cronenberg returns to indifferent cineplexes triumphant once again. Fresh from his meticulous period passion play A Dangerous Method, the great maestro steers back into more familiar territory with an allegorical adaptation of a darkly comedic Don DeLillo novella.

Cosmopolis may well be the helmer's most personal film, akin to the films which earlier made his name. Lacking the body horror of those singular gems, his newest work is almost entirely set in a car; the ominously stylized tone recalls one of his very best, the existential visual dread of Crash (1996). Robert Pattinson gives a brilliantly modulated performance which erases bad memories of shitty Twilight movies; his co-stars make up one of the most dynamic casts of the year; Paul Giamatti, Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton, Jay Baruchel, spellbinding ingenue Sarah Gadon. Their interplay as directed by Cronenberg builds a wall of austere despair that is one of the most incisive and expressive portrayals of the capitalist malaise our country is mired in.

Cronenberg works with his usual crew to spin his most shattering web in some time. DP Peter Suschitzky goes a long way to give the maestro's films their distinct appearance and feeling of disconnect via symmetry and lighting; Howard Shore's music score is teeming with angst. These elements bind together Cronenberg's unreal foretelling of East Coast ennui and moral bankruptcy. The trajectory of an upper crust young Wall Street upstart making his way across a pseudo-apocalyptic NYC, and the "odd" characters he encounters offers the maestro a simple plot to enrich his cinematic field of vision by.

The uber-stylized dialogue has been found impenetrable by many; it is transferred almost identically from the text; the movie almost becomes Cronenberg's commentary on the ouevre of novelist DeLillo, and the very nature of the beast of novel to film adaptations.

1 comment:

  1. Love your analysis. Cosmopolis sure can make you think. Not sure people appreciate that these days, but I loved it.