ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Movies & Movie Reviews

Movie review: Maps to the Stars

Updated on September 26, 2014

Crash. If we had to pinpoint where it started to go wrong for director David Cronenberg, it would probably have to be, quite appropriately, with this 1996 title of his. Before it the Canadian writer/director helmed some of the eighties most deliciously disturbing films. You know the ones: Scanners, Videodrome,The Fly etc.

Since then, his output has been patchy at best, with 2012's Cosmopolis a new low for the talented director. The one thing that can be said for his latest effort is that at least it's better than that. Just.

Arriving into the glamour of LAX is young Agatha (Mia Wasikowska); she's hired a limo for the day, driven by Jerome (Robert Pattinson) – who wouldn't you know it, is actually a writer and actor, and driving is only his day job – to show him around the homes of the rich and famous.

Whilst driving she informs him that she's actually friends with Carrie Fisher; she wanted research for her new book and Agatha helped out, so now they're Twitter buddies.

It's her connection to Carrie that leads her to a position working as a personal assistant to actress Sevana Segrand (Julianne Moore); she is all pumped for a role that you could say she was born to play, that of her own mother who was a famous actress back in the day, in a remake of her classic Stolen Waters.

Elsewhere in Hollywood, someone else is nailing down a deal; 13-year-old Benjie Weiss (Evan Bird) is signing his name to the sequel of the mega-successful Bad Babysitter, as long as the producers can get past his time in rehab.

Having got the job with Sevana, it transpires that Agatha has a hidden agenda; she's actually come out to find and confront her family about the scars she carries, both emotional and physical, and who knows maybe build a few burnt bridges along the way. After all, this is Hollywood, where anything can happen.

In 1992 Robert Altman released The Player, the sharpest of satires on those that run Hollywood. Cronenberg's latest is the palest imitation, that's not at all flattering.

To write the screenplay, Cronenberg roped in Bruce Wagner, whose biggest screen credit to date has to be 1987's A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Why Cronenberg thought he was up to the challenge of writing a script now is anyone's guess, but he certainly got it wrong. This is one of the most lifeless films you're ever likely to witness.

Wagner's biggest achievement with it was being able to write some of the blandest, most unlikeable characters to appear on screen in years. The script is incredibly stagnant, with a plot devoid of any interest whatsoever. Audiences have seen enough films about Hollywood to know how shallow the talent can be, but Wagner's script slaps it down as if it's some kind of major revelation. It's not.

And if there's a deeper, darker tale of a family in turmoil, well, good luck funding it.

It's only a number of fine performances that save this from being a complete waste of time; Moore delivers a strong and vibrant act of a self-obsessed actress – no doubt she's come across one or two of those in her time, whilst Wasikoska adds yet another watchable turn to her growing CV.

There was a time when Cronenberg's work made you feel something, one way or another, but sadly this film is about as vacuous as its tired subject matter and really ends up going nowhere worth watching.

2 booms

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)