Hollywood is full of wannabe’s, blockbuster movie stars and actors who were once the toast of the town – are now considered washed up because the Hollywood that made them a star has evolved into a social media/reality show/celebrity gossip driven world. Incest, fires, murder,sex and acceptance are all subjects tackled in the David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars.
Fresh off the heels of winning a Best Actress Oscar, Julianne Moore tackles yet another complex role that won her the Best Actress honor at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Globe nomination. Moore (Havana Segrand) plays a desperate, washed up movie star who would do anything to revive a role made famous in a cult film by her now deceased mother. As she slowly descends into madness, she consistently has visions of her mother who fuels her insecurity around her acting chops, age, beauty and relevance as to whether or not she is the right person to tackle this infamous role.
On the flip side of the coin, we have Benjie Weiss (Evan Bird) , who IS the toast of “Young Hollywood”. His life and family legacy are put into question by events propelled as his mentally ill sister, Agatha Weiss (Mia Wasikowska) arrives in Hollywood. Agatha crosses paths with Havana, works as her assistant…but what they have in common is what you never see coming. Agatha has a very clear motives for coming to Hollywood other than going on a Hollywood tour of the stars.
The manner in which all of these lives intertwine is fascinating and makes this film equally as compelling to watch. Director David Cronenberg is known for pushing the envelope in a very unique, thought provoking manner., much like his predecessor Robert Altman did with a little film back in the day called The Player (which also poked fun of Hollywood and it’s key “players”).
Maps to the Stars is an odd little film with a few little unintentional comedic moments and a priceless cameo of Carrie Fischer (providing that ultimate mother/daughter actress symbolism), along with some emotionally raw acting from John Cusack (Dr. Stafford Weiss) and Olivia Williams (Christina Weiss). It was released on February 27th and can also be seen on Direct TV PPV.