Saturday, October 11, 2014

Maps to the Stars

Director: David Cronenberg
With: Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Evan Bird, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson

This movie has got to be one of the most brutal films one would ever see and it doesn't even involve a lot of gore, or blood to be brutal. But its satirical emblazoning of Hollywood is just uncomfortable yet fascinating to watch. I can never attest to what Hollywood is like, all I can rely to is the media's depiction of it so judging this film, it might be spot on and reading some of the reviews and comments about it, I'm pretty sure Maps to the Stars was made, not really to expose the scandals and bad behaviors of some Hollywood stars, agents and aspiring famewhores in the business, but perhaps, to also open the eyes of those who are unaware of the nature of Hollywood itself, or those who are simply clueless of their desperation for fame.

Maps involves characters that are so complex yet so fun to watch. It reminds me so much of the HBO show, The Comeback because it shares the same satirical and acerbic nature of exposing oblivious people in the Hollywood industry. Julianne Moore's character Havana Segrand for one reminds me of a way darker version of Valerie Cherish. She's nuts, but I'd love to see more of her and I think it's one of the main reasons why Maps to the Stars is extremely appealing because it reveals so much disparagement that sometimes, you're torn between being fascinated or disturbed by the actions, not only by Havana, but also the other characters and other people surrounding her.

The film flaunts so many polarizing characters that it's hard to enumerate them because of how complicated their characters evolved throughout the film. But all of them has redeeming qualities but the one that stands out to me are their faults. I guess that's just how it is in this kind of satire, the audience tend to focus on the wrongdoings. Well, that's because it involves a Justin Bieber-like character, a stage-parent, an aspiring actor, douchebags, hoes and all of them have one thing in common, they live in a character-eating industry that's hard to abandon.

With all these characters are great actors who played them. The Justin Bieber character I was referring about was played by Evan Bird and man, this guy is such a revelation. Olivia Williams and John Cusack served as his parents, and they're also brilliant, especially Williams who played a hilarious stage mother whose character is just lolhilarious. Then we have Robert Pattinson as a limo driver and struggling character who wants to be a successful writer, and this is probably one of his most daring role he's ever played. He's not likable in this. Mia Wasikowska as Havana's personal assistant is also one of the unsung heroes of the film. But it's Julianne Moore that slayed us all with her portrayal of Havana Segrand. Seriously, Moore is having a great year with all the achievements she's having from being the Best Actress in Cannes, and now the rave reviews for Still Alice. She's undeniably great in this and once again, she has proven that there's no character that she can't do. This is so different from all the roles that she played. Well, she's been in a variety of characters ranging from a lesbian parent, a porn star, a cult leader, Sarah Palin, but here in Maps, this is the first time I saw her really owning a character. She's super great in this and Havana wouldn't be the fun and dark Havana that I love because of her. I could forget all the other characters even though I also find them complex but I won't forget Havana, who truly is the main star of the film.

Maps to the Stars is an unforgettable and powerful satirical drama that will make you uncomfortable, and yet it would make you want to see more because it revealed so much truthfulness, some may be exaggerated but its entertaining nevertheless. Also, a must-watch for Julianne Moore's performance and character.