DRAMA; 1hr 51min
STARRING: Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Wilde, Evan Bird
Village of the damned: Moore
Any illusions about Hollywood’s dark heart are likely to shatter like a champagne fountain in an icy gust of wind when director David Cronenberg’s caustic satire puts its tinselly players through their paces. Written with an insider’s jaundiced eye by novelist Bruce Wagner and pounced upon by its ensemble cast, Maps to the Stars fuses ghostly visions with trenchant commentary in a no-holds-barred cataloguing of the unsavoury, the unbalanced and the terminally spoiled.
The characters are a menagerie of deviance. An amped-to-frantic Moore is actress Havana Seagrand, clawing at her declining career. Cusack and Wilde, as skeevy therapist Dr Stafford Weiss and his grasping, stage-mom wife, Cristina, are the hopeless parents of potty-mouthed, hedonistic child star Benjie (Bird) and his spurned, burn-scarred sister, Agatha (Wasikowska). Separately and together, they all walk a tormented line from ambition-plagued to downright doomed. Only Pattinson as Jerome, a chauffeur with the usual blinding stars in his eyes, is in any sense a voice of sanity. But like everyone else, he too is out of his depth in the downward-sucking swirl that is Cronenberg’s warped salute.