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October 11, 2015

Cosmopolis (2012)
Director: David Cronenberg
Actors: Robert Pattinson, Sarah Gadon, Kevin Durand (240×140)

Synopsis: Billionaire speculator, Eric (Robert Pattinson), rides across Manhattan in his luxurious limousine, on the search for somewhere to get his hair cut….

Review: Cosmopolis is perhaps David Cronenberg’s most pared down and elemental dystopian satire yet. Anyone familiar with Cronenberg’s obvious progression over the last dozen or so years to a more mature, theatrical and talky aesthetic (think Spider or A Dangerous Method) which suppresses much of the transgression and horror body politic with which he made his name will know the feel. It’s almost like his films are more meta-commentaries and treatises on their own content than overt dramatisations, and Cosmopolis is huge exemplar of this – on the surface, part of the ever-growing genre of ‘end of Capitalism’ tomes, but in reality, a distinctly detached, gallows, Cronenbergian take on contemporary financial mores, as he takes one absurdly rich man’s feckless limo ride across town for a ‘haircut’ as microcosm for a state-of-the-nation discourse. It’s all a little icy and Brechtian in execution, but you have to admire Cronenberg’s twin artillery of canny intuition and full-on irreverence in presenting a story where a guy rides, eats, pisses, shits, fucks and kills his way through town just for this haircut (a lovely metaphor for the ethos of what is happening in the glass cathedrals of Wall Street). (December 2015)

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