The film has been slapped with a R-rating for “strong disturbing content,” which includes violence and graphic sex.
In other words, the underbelly of Hollywood.
The trailer provides snapshots of the movie’s stars, which include Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon and Evan Bird.
Carrie Fisher also makes a cameo appearance playing herself.
Cronenberg has a reputation for exploring violence and the psycho-sexual recesses of society in such films as “A History of Violence” (2005), “Eastern Promises” (2007), “A Dangerous Method” (2011) and his other Pattinson collaboration “Cosmopolis” (2012).
Although “Maps to the Stars” is billed as a “satirical drama” film, it appears to be far darker and more depraved than originally expected.
The film centers on the Weiss family, who live in the maw of celebrity. They’re rich, well known and have a solid Hollywood connections. Yet they’re totally dysfunctional, haunted by everything the real Hollywood is known for.
Patriarch Stafford Weiss (Cusack) is a famed celebrity therapist with a hit televsion show and an A-list of celebrity patients.
His wife Christina has her hands full managing the faltering career of child-star son, Benjie ( Bird), who’s already done a stint in rehab at 13. (Shades of Drew Barrymore!)
But the real dark sheep of the family is Agatha (Wasikowska), who harbors dark secrets that have unhinged her mentally. She acts out by setting fires. She’s back in Hollywood after a stint in a psych ward and ready to start her torment all over again.
She makes a connection with limo driver Jerome Fontana (Pattinson), a wanna-be actor (isn’t everyone?). His life intersects with actress Havana Segrand (Moore), a psychotic actress who can’t escape the ghost of her mother, Clarice (Gadon), an iconic actor from Hollywood’s Golden Era.
Agatha becomes her personal assistant and is the anti-hero in the movie, desperately trying to find solid ground amid Hollywood’s shifting sand.
The film was screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival. It’s due to be released sometime this year on DVD, pay-per-view and select theaters.
Pattinson has delved into more mature subject matter in “Bel Ami” and “Cosmopolis,” but neither come close to “Maps.”
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