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Arriving in the wake of the Occupy movements and the recent financial collapse, David Cronenberg's stylish and timely adaptation of Don DeLillo's apocalyptic satire follows a billionaire financier (Robert Pattinson) as he creeps across an imploding New York City in a limo, his life of absurd luxury collapsing around him. It's a scenario geared expressly toward Cronenberg's sensibilities, playing out like Videodrome — or, as The New Yorker argued, Crash — transplanted to the endangered world of the one per cent.
David Cronenberg's chilling adaptation of Don DeLillo's apocalyptic satire about a billionaire financier is extraordinarily timely in the wake of the recent financial crisis brought on by the wild speculation and unrestrained greed. Robert Pattinson plays Robert Packer, the young tycoon whom the film follows as he creeps in his limousine across an imploding New York City, his life of absurd luxury set to come crashing down around him.
It's a scenario that seems geared expressly toward Cronenberg's sensibilities. The film plays like Videodrome — or, as the New Yorker argued, Crash — transplanted to the increasingly endangered world of the one per cent, and rolling out like a seamless fusion of La Ronde, pornographic movies and Celine's Journey to the End of the Night. As Packer frets about a market gamble he's made, he fails to notice the world around him sliding into anarchy as he foolishly insists on being driven across town to get a haircut (despite the traffic and an impending visit by the President, which has the city in lockdown).
Boasting the hippest casts of any Canadian film this year, Cosmopolis also stars Sarah Gadon (A Dangerous Method; Anti-Viral) as Packer's new bride; Jay Baurchel (Goon; Tropic Thunder); Emily Hampshire (The Trotsky; My Awkward Sexual Adventure); and imports Paul Giamatti, Juliette Binoche and Samantha Morton.
Canada's Top Ten Panelist Rationales:
"In the cocoon of his limousine, a gazillionaire creeps across the city, searching for amusement and a haircut. The slow burn of David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis is initially unsettling (when is something going to happen?) but becomes delirious as the car crawls along through a society that seems to be collapsing in on itself. Appropriately chilling." — Matt Galloway, radio host (CBC's Metro Morning)
"Canada's pre-eminent director never fails to excite the senses. In Cosmopolis, David Cronenberg transcribes Don DeLillo's indictment of financial hubris run amok into a technically precise, claustrophobic metaphor for a financial system torn apart from within. Typically, bodily functions play a key role. And who better to represent this rapacious greed, hoist with its own voracious folly, than the affectless Robert Pattinson, an actor popular culture has chosen as the object of millions of teenaged girls' desire." — Paul Ennis, Associate Editor (TheWholeNote.com), film and music critic, programmer
- David Cronenberg was born in Toronto and studied at the University of Toronto, where he directed several short films. He has won Genie awards for best director for Videodrome (83), Dead Ringers (88), Naked Lunch (91), Crash (96), and Spider. His other films are Shivers (75), Rabid (77), The Brood (79), Scanners (81), The Dead Zone (83), The Fly (86), M. Butterfly (92), eXistenZ (99), A History of Violence (05), To Each His Own Cinema (segment, 07), Eastern Promises, A Dangerous Method (11) and Cosmopolis (12).