Tuesday, March 03, 2015

[film] "Maps to the Stars" (2014)

I saw this David Cronenberg directed film recently. It is scripted by Bruce Wagner and contains many allusions or parallels to the Wild Palms comic he wrote in the early 1990s, including:

Maps to the Stars
creepy child actors
disturbing family dynamics
Carrie Fisher
'Nana Nana hey hey (Kiss him good bye)'
general dark side of Hollywood vibe

and so on.

The story is multi-stranded, though the strands of course come together: people who seem only to have tenuous links to each other turn out to have much closer connections than might initially be apparent. Cronenberg has reached that stage of his career where he can get good actors to appear in anything he does, so you get some stunning performances here. I particularly liked Evan Bird as the spoilt teenage actor. Julianne Moore as a disturbed actress and Mia Wasikowska as a new arrival in Tinseltown also impressed me.

Cronenberg might have gone off the boil a few years back but lately he has really got his mojo back again. Maps to the Stars does not fall into the kind of strange genre film territory that alienates respectable audiences, but it had enough creepiness and body horror to feel like a proper Cronenberg film.

Bruce Wagner's Wild Palms

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