Cosmopolis opens in the UK and Ireland this Friday and the reviews keep pouring in. Kate will be giving her review on Friday as well as posting our next round of spoiler/reaction threads. The conversations in the DR about this film have been excellent. I can't wait for more talk from y'all after more have seen it.
Here's a collection of newer reviews but in case you've missed previous posts threads, click HERE to view or visit the individual links:
- Part 1 - "Robert Pattinson giving a commanding, sympathetic portrait!"
- Part 2 - "Sensational central performance from Robert Pattinson"
- Part 3 - Robert Pattinson is "excellent in a difficult role"
- Spoiler Post #1
- Spoiler Post #2 + Toronto premiere review
Pattinson’s detached delivery could be considered jarring. If you think of Packer as the spiritual descendant of Bret Easton Ellis’s Clay character from Less Than Zero, you will understand the true genius of Pattinson’s performance and see it as completely appropriate as opposed to cardboard.
Again, like Limits of Control, all of this non-action is leading towards something — and it’s a beautiful payoff. Other than the loss of his fortune, the main issue is that Packer is being stalked throughout the film by an unknown assailant. In the final act, Pattinson faces off against Paul Giamatti, in a scene that is both terrifying and entertaining. It’s a lot of fun to watch these two actors trading barbs, and it brings to mind another Cronenberg film, A History of Violence, in which William Hurt faces off against Viggo Mortensen. Hurt received an Oscar nomination for the climactic scene (which lasted less than 10 minutes) and it wouldn’t be a shocker if Giamatti was recognized for his work here.
There’s no doubt that Cronenberg made the film he wanted to make with Cosmopolis. In tone and style, it’s similar to Naked Lunch or Dead Ringers, but it’s not much like his recent work with Mortensen. Rather, it’s a return to form.
Excerpt from New Statesman:
In its favour, the film has Pattinson. Part of his success in evoking Eric’s contradictions is down to physiognomy: the upper half of his face, where his oversized eyes bulge from beneath a curved shell of forehead, seems engorged by cerebral activity, while his boxy jaw juts forward a fraction like Ted Hughes’s Iron Man. He brings hunger but also delicacy. Asking his driver where all the limousines go at night, he’s like Holden Caulfield fretting about Central Park’s ducks when the lake freezes over. It’s human experience that Eric finds hard to process. His sensibility is so rooted in abstraction, he barely notices the demonstrators vandalising his limo; he can’t see that they have turned it into a makeshift Rothko, spray-painting a red-and-black fuzz across its windows.Excerpt from The Arts Desk:
Cronenberg directs an icily impressive Robert Pattinson in a slick, cerebral satire
Robert Pattinson – well cast here - has that slightly inhuman, albeit striking, appearance (something the Twilight franchise has so successfully capitalised on) and possesses a complexion which suggests he’s a stranger to the outside world. In Cosmopolis, rather than being tortured by love he’s beset by ennui.
Cosmopolis might be, in part, a study of detachment but it’s cinema at its most intimate and inquisitive. It’s a challenging film which still entertains. It’s fairly short with an excruciatingly anxious yet playful finale, revealing the identity of Eric’s deadly stalker and rewarding its audience’s patience. There’s humour, particularly in Amalric’s appearance as cream pie vigilante Andre Petrescu (“Today you are cremed by the master!”). It’s not always entirely coherent and some will no doubt find its musings tedious but, slowly but surely, Cronenberg pushes our buttons and our limits.
DIY gave Cosmopolis an 8 out of 10 and raved about Rob's performance:
It's hard to imagine another actor making such a remarkable impact as Pattinson. In every single wordy scene, he is incredible, from his subtly twitchy opening frame to the warped sexual tension displayed during his medical exam and how masterfully he utters every challenging line, imbuing them with world-weariness and logic. It's a breakthrough performance for the Twilight star, who has consistently chosen interesting projects despite his heart-throb status, and Cronenberg's brave casting has paid off. Pattinson is riveting throughout - there is a maelstrom of fierce intelligence in his financial wunderkind, bubbling under a controlled stoniness. It's a layered performance, one of the best of the year, that makes the often pretentious and unrelatable theories believable and compelling. Pattinson holds this stagey yet visually memorable film together, even when it unravels unsatisfyingly - he makes the film worth your while. You won't see another film starring an A-list idol this brave for a long time.From Cinemablographer:
Eric’s confrontation with Benno is a great tour-de-force for Pattinson and Giamatti in which Eric must finally face up to the consequences of capitalism.CineVue gave the film 4 out of 5 stars:
Pattinson makes an impressive career move as the laconic Eric Packer. Even though the steely tycoon speaks in the expressionless monotone of Edward Cullen, Pattinson gives the character a sense of removal that makes the whole film work. Cosmopolis might be Cronenberg’s most dialogue-heavy film yet, but Pattinson’s dry delivery of the emotionally vacant script brings the film to life. As played by Pattinson, Eric Packer is a hollow empty shell of a man with which to serve a healthy dose of Cronenbergian allegory. It’s often said that casting is 90% of directing, and Cronenberg certainly lands an A with this pleasant surprise.
Pattinson produces a performance rich in mood, tone and delivery, comfortably embracing a plot full of seriously bizarre and awkwardly funny moments, vindicating the Canadian master's bold call. In support, Paul Giamatti, Juliette Binoche and Sarah Gadon are also well-chosen for their respective - if slight - roles.
Excerpt from Total Film:
But really, this is about a man tearing his world apart to see what’s there – and you get the feeling that’s exactly Pattinson’s game plan. Water For Elephants (beaten by Christoph Waltz’s henchmen) and Bel Ami (seduce-anddestroy in 19th-Century Paris) have hinted at his urge for darker roles, but Cosmopolis is a game-changer for him.From Den of Geek, who gave the film 4 out of 5 stars:
He’s distant, sardonic, nihilistic, enigmatic and very watchable. It’s intriguing to imagine how different it might have been with original lead Colin Farrell, a man with proven shadowy sexual charisma (Fright Night) and compact star power (Phone Booth).
But Cronenberg has helped lift another level of performance from Pattinson, who channels his vampiric blankness for deeper purposes and never disappears completely behind Packer’s black suit and shades. Cinematographer Peter Suschitzky’s precise, clinical visuals put Pattinson under intense scrutiny. But he chews through the challenge of Cronenberg’s immensely literate script – lifted hand over hand from the prose in Don DeLillo’s dense, stylish novel – with real confidence.
As for the Twilight star, who has to shoulder being in literally every scene of the movie, it will no doubt upset some people to hear that he acquits himself more than admirably. Managing the tricky task of being both simultaneously aloof and vulnerable, Pattinson mines the ambiguity in Packer’s character for all it’s worth.TimeOut gave the film 3 out of 5 stars:
Slowly stripped of both Packer’s literal and metaphorical armour as the film progresses, the quality of Pattinson’s performance is brought into sharp focus in the film’s climactic scene. Going toe-to-toe with the superb Giamatti in an extended face-off, Pattinson more than holds his own with the veteran actor.
If you’re interested in seeing a top-of-the-line director working with great actors and provocative material in a form that English language cinema seems to have all but turned its back on, then Cronenberg’s latest is definitely worth both your time and money.
There’s a consistent air of charged, end-of-days menace running through the film, which Cronenberg handles with an unbroken sense of precision and confidence. He’s well served, too, by a leering, disintegrating Pattinson, giving a commanding, sympathetic portrait of a man being consumed by his own vanity and power.From The Coast (Halifax’s Weekly):
Financial jargon spun into pure poetry
It could all quickly get self-indulgent, but Cronenberg is masterful here. His screenplay wisely keeps much of DeLillo’s jazzy prose, which pushes financial jargon into the realm of poetry. Pattinson too delivers an inhuman performance, as cold and sharp as porcelain. This is a symposium on the spectre of capitalism, so bring a friend. You’re going to want to talk about it afterwards.LOVEFiLM gave Cosmopolis 5 out of 5 stars:
That’s David Cronenberg’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s 2003 novel in a nutshell, and if you have been fooled by that kickass trailer into expecting something dynamic and punchy, well you have been fooled, because the movie is a different beast entirely.
But it is brilliant, I think, a long-awaited return to the kind of subversive science fantasy that used to be Cronenberg’s specialty, before he went all respectable (well, I exaggerate, but A Dangerous Method, Eastern Promises and A History of Violence are well-behaved films in comparison).
Cosmopolis received a mixed-to-lukewarm reception at the tail end of Cannes last month, but people weren’t prepared for its weirdness, the talk and the static and the Pattinson… It’s a strange combination. What we have is pure Cronenberg; his most Cronenbergian movie since eXistenZ (which was his last solo script credit, not so coincidentally), and in many ways a throwback to Naked Lunch and Videodrome.
Some folks are reluctant to admit Robert Pattinson can act. They will come round eventually. The guy is more than his haircut. This is a talky script, but he navigates it with skill and conviction, especially the lengthy two-hander with Paul Giamatti at the climax.
Slyly funny and at least as philosophical as it is political – by which I mean it’s as concerned with existential angst as much as social inequities – I predict Cosmopolis will come to be seen a one of Cronenberg’s purest accomplishments.
From The Varsity:
I personally admire Cronenberg’s daring. Cosmopolis is a cinematic curiosity; to some, it may seem misshapen (much like Eric Packer’s prostate). My recommendation is to get in the car and go with the flow of the traffic. I predict future viewers will pull this one over, ask, “what happened?” and find brilliance.CBC News gave the film a 2 out of 5 but it reads as though they’re still working through their thoughts:
In this realm, it’s obvious why Pattinson has become Cronenberg’s new Viggo: he has the aquiline profile of a Cronenbergian protagonist and a certain feral cunning in his cold, dark eyes. More importantly, there’s nothing standing in the way of the script. Pattinson is a vessel, a piece of glass. In between delivering his lines of dialogue, he is so still that one questions his existence. It’s a quandary magnified by the introduction of a parade of employees connected to the billionaire. Jay Baruchel is a jittery IT specialist. Emily Hampshire is an executive-slash-single mom. The vivacious Juliette Binoche is an art dealer who also trades in baser desires. Her warmth is contrasted against Sarah Gadon’s frigid demeanour as Packer’s new wife.
In and out of the limo they go, each more emotional than the last, while Packer crawls toward his destination. At one point, the limo is enveloped by rioters waving rats and spray-painting its windows. Even as the protesters rock the car on its chassis, Pattinson rides out the storm, sipping his vodka with a repressed smirk.
You could almost view Cosmopolis as a transformation of sorts, as Packer slowly emerges from his shell as his fortune evaporates. Perhaps it’s an absurd farce, as Pattinson suggested in our recent interview.3 1/2 out of 5 stars for Cosmopolis from the Montreal Gazette:
Juliette Binoche makes a delectably saucy appearance; rapper K’Naan has a minor part; a dishevelled Paul Giamatti plays a pivotal role in the homestretch; Montreal actor Abdul Ayoola (who moonlights as head of security at Metropolis) scores some quality screen time in a late scene as Packer’s driver, Ibrahim; and Toronto electro-rock act Metric ties it all together with a groovy score.
But this film rests squarely on Pattinson’s broad shoulders, and in the brooding features of his perfectly chiselled face. Cronenberg is at play in this slippery, surreal affair that is best appreciated with open ears and an open mind – and begs to be seen twice.
A fun aside...the author of The Professionals, Owen Laukkanen, is on twitter and went to check out Cosmopolis. Obviously we don't have much information about TP...this was the author's reply to a question about that development:
But it's encouraging to see the author in favor of Rob in Cosmopolis when he could potentially star in the film if it gets made. :)
If you're able to see Cosmopolis this weekend, be sure to check your theaters for showtimes and locations. The release is limited but Rob still needs all your support. Go see this great film and encourage others to see it as well.