I could be wrong, but expect David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis to win something at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Reviews haven’t been unanimously favorable for Cronenberg’s "ethical fable" about a (disastrous) day in the life of a New York City multibillionaire (Robert Pattinson) determined to get a haircut. But no matter. Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life was last year’s Palme d’Or winner despite a highly mixed reception. Robert Pattinson, in the process of shedding his Twilight image, has mostly earned extremely positive (and surprised) notices. [Check out the awesome COSMOPOLIS trailer.]
Below are a translated snippets from a few French-language reviews. A chief complaint about Cosmopolis is that it’s too chatty. David Cronenberg reportedly wrote the screenplay in six days, keeping much of author Don DeLillo’s dialogue intact.
In addition to Robert Pattinson, Cosmopolis features Sarah Gadon, Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton, Paul Giamatti, Jay Baruchel, Mathieu Amalric, Emily Hampshire, Kevin Durand, and Patricia McKenzie. Cosmopolis has already opened in France. It should be released in the United States sometime in the second half of 2012. [Check out: COSMOPOLIS release dates.]
Via Paris-Match: "Screened for the press at 8:30 this morning, David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis seems to have divided the critics. Considered too talky by some, among them our critic Alain Spira, this implacable observation of the inhumanity of the world’s new masters can be seen as a nightmarish sequel to David Fincher’s The Social Network. Robert Pattinson is flawless as Eric Packer, disillusioned and cynical to perfection."
toutelaculture.com: "When it comes to Cronenberg, we had mixed feelings about Carl Gustav Jung’s a little too kitschy tribulations in A Dangerous Method. Following this pleasant — even if a bit clumsy — period film, the Canadian director has apparently decided to try his hand in the science-fiction genre with the philosophical Cosmopolis. Despite a wonderful cast, the film looks too much like a bad Bertolt Brecht play to lure us in."
Regarding Robert Pattinson’s performance, the reviewer adds that although he "desperately tries to deliver his long philosophical tirades with the least artificiality, with the talkative Cosmopolis Cronenberg crosses the dubious border with which A Dangerous Method had only flirted at, plunging headlong into kitsch. Even into the ridiculous."
Caroline Vié at 20minutes.fr: "[In Cosmopolis,] David Cronenberg displays his dark sense of humor as well as his filmmaking genius, for the film was almost entirely shot in a limousine. He perfectly illustrates the chaos surrounding this peaceful haven, as well as the inner storm brewing inside his hero. Throughout it all, Robert Pattinson confirms that he has a career after Twilight. A disturbing 21st-century Rastignac, he carries the film on his shoulders while surrounded by carefully selected supporting actors." [Eugène de Rastignac = Honoré de Balzac’s ambitious, cunning character in Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine narratives.]
Olivier Delcroix in Le Figaro: "From Cosmopolis’ first images, it becomes crystal clear: David Cronenberg will be giving us the best of his art.
"… Cronenberg relishes this failed world. … David Cronenberg shoots as close as possible this living-dead creature [Robert Pattinson’s Eric Packer] floundering in the raging ocean of global finance. Apocalyptic, visionary, physical, this dark futuristic tale envelops the audience and carries it away. This year at Cannes, Cronenberg has reemerged."
Gucci-outfitted Robert Pattinson / Cosmopolis photo: Courtesy of Gucci (via MTVNews).