Cosmopolis (15)

Film

Drama

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Nov 8 2011

David Cronenberg’s ‘Cosmopolis’ is a weird, heady and entrancing portrait of individual alienation in a super-rich, corporate world where money, sex, love, happiness and death are rapidly losing all meaning. It’s based on a 2003 novel by Don DeLillo, and while it offers some superficial relevance to the current financial crisis, and trades in some of its imagery and events (markets crashing, protests), this is not in any way a realist work. It takes Cronenberg back to territory he hasn’t explored since ‘eXistenZ’ and ‘Crash’ – this is also his first script since those films. It’s a psychosexual, more interior companion piece to films like ‘Inside Job’ and ‘Margin Call’.

‘Cosmopolis’ gives us a young man riding through Manhattan in a limo on a day that feels more and more like his own self-made apocalypse. He’s a super-rich New Yorker, Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), a 28-year-old billionaire captain of the money markets and tech industries. He insists on travelling across town for a haircut, even though his driver warns him that a presidential visit and a rap star’s funeral are causing traffic gridlock. Packer’s world is confined to this luxury vehicle. It’s full of screens and gadgets and it’s here that he’s joined first by a 22-year-old whizz kid and then two women, one played by Juliette Binoche, the other by Samantha Morton. Outside, Packer encounters a protester (Mathieu Amalric) who is determined to shove a cream pie in his face, his soon-to-be-ex wife (Sarah Gadon) and a man with a serious vendetta against him (Paul Giamatti).

‘Cosmopolis’ is an odyssey defined by a series of one-on-one encounters. There are prostate examinations, stripped bodies, sex, conversations about Rothko and souped-up chats on subjects such as the philosophies of financial security systems and how time is a corporate asset. Much of the talk makes no obvious sense: ‘Cosmopolis’ has the air of an experimental theatre piece and trades in heightened, eroticised language. You could say it tries to turn the mind of Packer inside-out: to make the psychological real. That’s tougher on film, surely, than in print, and ‘Cosmopolis’ is at its best when it’s otherworldly and aching with artifice. It’s at its worst when it becomes weighed down by an excessive, wearying wordiness, or when it steps out of the limo – the film’s self-imposed arena of surreality – and into a place more like the real world. ‘Cosmopolis’ threatens to soar and to be important, but it only offers flashes of lucidity; the limo is a mesmerising bubble that is quickly burst when the film leaves it.

That said, 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. 

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jun 15, 2012

Duration:

109 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
LiveReviews|12
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cassius

I think people who don't watch the entire film shouldn't be allowed to give ratings. Somewhere in between jarmusch and lynch, this is refreshingly weird and interesting film.

Ant

Really really dull film. I fell asleep after 20 mins - woke up 10 mins later hoping that it had improved - I hoped in vain and then had to leave - total cobblers

BP

I read the book first and like Cronenbergs intense filming style.The dialogue is true to the book and Pattinson was magnificent in this movie. The last 22 minute scene between Pattinson a Giamatti is Oscar worthy. At least watch the whole movie before reviewing. I would go again if the cinema had have been more local .4 star rating 5 for Pattinson and Giamatti.

francoisfromparis

Too bad 'Zero Stars' are treated as unrated! Even one star seems very generous for such a terrible movie. Yet... As I walked out in the middle of it, bored to tears, like so many of the people there before me - the movie is really unbearably dull and excruciatingly empty - the cinema staff kindly reassured me that it was a fairly normal reaction. Since they are showing it, they are recording unprecedented levels of leavers! Up to one third of the audience! 'So much money and talent invested to get to such a catastrophic result' I initially thought, of course, on my way home tonight (not in a limo, thanks god) -and another illustration of the Empty Train Problem. But, while bitterly regretting having wasted £14 on a limo-style seat, I finally got the point: what a brilliant metaphor for the world of finance!! If that was the intention, it is pure genius. Although I doubt it. So, seriously, don't go and read the FT (or the Yellow Pages) instead. It will be, trust me, cheaper and far more exciting.

francoisfromparis

Too bad 'Zero Stars' are treated as unrated! Even one star seems very generous for such a terrible movie. Yet... As I walked out in the middle of it, bored to tears, like so many of the people there before me - the movie is really unbearably dull and excruciatingly empty - the cinema staff kindly reassured me that it was a fairly normal reaction. Since they are showing it, they are recording unprecedented levels of leavers! Up to one third of the audience! 'So much money and talent invested to get to such a catastrophic result' I initially thought, of course, on my way home tonight (not in a limo, thanks god) -and another illustration of the Empty Train Problem. But, while bitterly regretting having wasted £14 on a limo-style seat, I finally got the point: what a brilliant metaphor for the world of finance!! If that was the intention, it is pure genius. Although I doubt it. So, seriously, don't go and read the FT (or the Yellow Pages) instead. It will be, trust me, cheaper and far more exciting.

odd

I think it's maybe a bit unfair to leave a review after walking out not even halfway into the film... but it was a bit odd. I actually preferred the bits that weren't in the limo, as the bits in the limo felt embarrassing to watch. There was a scene I couldn't watch tho - the cream pie scene. There was flash photography going on in the scene which can induce a migraine. Thanks.

Myerson

Overblown, self indulgent, deathly dull........ seventeen people walked out of the screening I attended. (That is how interested I was in the film - I counted the folk leaving!) Mind numbingly boring. A shame as the stellar cast and five star reviews on the posters perhaps promised so much more.

NW1

This is a million times worse than the shi**est student film you can possibly imagine. "Entrancing portrait" and "mesmerising bubble" are amongst the many inaccurate descriptions in the TO review. More appropriate would be, this film will make you want to chew your own arm off and beat yourself around the head with the severed limb it's so bad. Easy contender for worst film of the year so far.

USMAN LATIF KHAWAJA

if you read it between lines TO is apologising on behalf of david cronenberg that this claptrap ever got made and also that there is an actor called PATTINSON who is actually from these shores

Paul

This one is a stinker with the slow water torture of an inane script, a lack of style or grace and lacklustre acting despite the promise of the names. There was a steady stream of people walking out of the cinema until less that half were left behind in a futile hope that the film would pick up. You will need to be a stoic able to withstand 2 long long hours of tedious pretentious words netting to a flat zero. Don't be fooled by the TO review here, it is plot spoiler for all of the highlights. Save your money and pray Pattinson gets knocked down a peg or two now to join the Macaulay Culkin school of acting. As for Cronenberg, he needs a talking to after subjecting an audience to two hours of this nonsense

DG

Absolute dreck. Pretentious, dull and in places so bad/up it's own a*se it's unintentionally laugh out loud funny. Plenty of people walked out - I lasted the painful distance in case it got any better, but no chance. Avoid at all costs.

MikeT

This is an unusual film to put it mildly - there’s a distinctly dream-like quality to it. Certainly the dialog’s very staid. Equally odd is the absence of a soundtrack, making the film very intense. Mainly shot in the limousine of Pattinson’s character as it crawls through a nightmare-ish traffic jam, the pace isn’t exactly fast. After some 30 minutes Pattinson’s wife’s character recalls having gone to the theatre to see a production that was sparsely attended and that after 5 minutes she understood why it was sparsely attended. I felt the same about Cosmopolis. I left after 35 minutes – I think I was the fourth person to leave by that stage. This film’s like a walnut whip - it looks great, but you quickly appreciate there’s little substance beyond the shell. A generous 2 stars.