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'Maps to the Stars': Robert Pattinson-David Cronenberg Collaboration? + 'Amour' Trailer & Critics Favorite

Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis David Cronenberg Paul Giamatti
Maps to the Stars for Robert Pattinson / David Cronenberg? Above, Pattinson in Cronenberg's Cosmopolis (Paul Giamatti in background)

Robert Pattinson hates Twilight, according to those who have taken seriously his (jokingly) dismissive take on the movie series that has made him world famous. Anyhow, whatever his feelings in regard to The Twilight Saga, Pattinson surely doesn't hate David Cronenberg. Hence, the Cosmopolis star and director are to work together on another movie project. That appears to be Maps to the Stars.

During an interview for Metro, Robert Pattinson said that last week his agent asked if he'd like to appear in Cronenberg's next film project. “I said yes without thinking!” Pattinson laughingly remarked.

Later on, Pattinson explained that he doesn't know “when exactly we're going to shoot. But it'll be David's first movie shot on American soil. In Los Angeles, to be exact. It will be about the film industry and I promise it's going to be really weird.”

Once again, this may be Maps to the Stars, which the online publication The Tracking Board (without citing any sources) had announced a month ago – even before Pattinson's agent contacted him (!!) – as a Robert Pattinson-David Cronenberg movie project. The story was described as revolving around a couple of child actors whose lives are destroyed by Hollywood stardom.

As per Total Film, back in 2006 when Maps to the Stars was first announced as a Cronenberg project, the filmmaker described it as “a Hollywood film because the characters are agents, actors and managers, but it is not a satire like The Player.”

Viggo Mortensen has also been mentioned in connection with the project. As per The Tracking Board, Mortensen would play the lead character; Pattinson would have a supporting role as a chauffeur by day, struggling actor by night.

Maps to the Stars: 'Dark Hollywood thriller'

Also back in 2006, Time Out described the Bruce Wagner-written Maps to the Stars screenplay as a “dark Hollywood thriller.” Cronenberg was quoted as saying that “Hollywood is a world that is seductive and repellent at the same time, and it is the combination of the two that makes it so potent. I won't fall back on some clichés or simplistic sloganeering, because the culture and what it reveals about Western culture and the rest of the world is very complex.”

Curiously, Maps to the Stars isn't listed on the IMDb among David Cronenberg's movie projects. Those include the satirical sci-fier As She Climbed Across the Table, the Robert Ludlum Cold War thriller The Matarese Circle, a remake of Cronenberg's own The Fly, and a sequel to Eastern Promises.

As for Robert Pattinson, besides Cosmopolis, to be screened at Cannes on Friday, he has two movies coming out in 2012:

Supporting Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis are Sarah Gadon, Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton, Mathieu Amalric, Jay Baruchel, and Paul Giamatti. Additionally, Pattinson has had his name attached to two projects: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire's Mission: Blacklist and David Michôd's The Rover.

Robert Pattinson as Eric Packer / Paul Giamatti / David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis photo: Alfama Films / eOne.

Michael Haneke 'Amour': Cannes Masterpiece?

Michael Haneke took home the Palme d'Or for The White Ribbon three years ago. This year, Haneke may be taking home a second Palme d'Or for Amour, which has received enthusiastic praise following its screening earlier today at the Cannes Film Festival. Starring veterans Jean-Louis Trintignant (The Conformist, Red) and Emmanuelle Riva (Hiroshima Mon Amour; Leon Morin, Priest) as an elderly couple facing illness and death as the biggest challenges to their love, Amour has been described as Haneke's masterpiece. Or, in some cases, his latest masterpiece.

Written by Haneke himself, Amour also features The Piano Teacher's Isabelle Huppert, Certified Copy's William Shimell, and Alexandre Tharaud. Amour opens in France in October. It'll surely be released some time this year in the US for awards-season consideration; Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the North American distribution rights.

“Michael Haneke's Amour is the last possible melodrama, the finale for every love story that doesn't reach a conclusion, the truth circumvented in such films as The Notebook, and partly touched upon in Sarah Polley's Away from Her. … Flawless and extremely sad, of a perfection and a sadness that one can't pretend not to be affected by it, Amour is a movie that can't be recommended lightly, for, as [Italian poet Carlo Emilio] Gadda would say, [watching it is] to become acquainted with grief [title of Gadda's novel, La Cognizione del dolore, translated into English as Acquainted with Grief].” Giorgio Viaro, who calls Amour the Cannes Film Festival's masterpiece, in Best Movie.

“Austrian director Michael Haneke gives us the first real masterpiece of the 65th Cannes Film Festival with French language effort Amour (Love, 2012), a surprisingly warm meditation on old age and death and undoubtedly a strong contender for the coveted Palme d'Or. His most personal film to date, Amour revolves around a married couple, Anne and Georges (names Haneke uses repeatedly throughout his work), played with intensity and courage by veteran actors Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant.” John Bleasdale in Cine Vue.

“Haneke, whom we have sometimes reproached for his penchant for sterile provocations and for his preachiness, opts for a soberness and a tenderness of which we wouldn't have thought him capable. For that reason, it's difficult not to be deeply moved by this tale of a love that is both simple and cruel.” AlloCiné.

“Nobody had ever shown the horrors of dependence with as much cruelty, acuity and truthfulness as Michael Haneke. Grounded on strong performances by Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant, [Haneke] delivers a romantic drama with incredible intensity, skirting voyeurism while depicting the end of two lives joined together for better or for worse. Amour is, to date, his best film.” Caroline Vié at 20minutes.fr.

Emmanuelle Riva / Amour / Love photo: Films du Losange / Sony Pictures Classics.

Michael Haneke 'Amour' Trailer

The Avengers have nothing to fear. Don't expect the latest Michael Haneke movie to defeat the superhero flick at the box office or in terms of media coverage. But as far as I'm concerned, Amour – please scroll down to check out the French-language trailer – is one of the top five or so most eagerly anticipated film events of 2012. Amour's special effect, much more powerful than any CGI-created nonsense, is the casting of Story of Women's Isabelle Huppert, Hiroshima mon amour's Emmanuelle Riva, and The Conformist's Jean-Louis Trintignant.

Shot in early 2011, Amour features 80-year-old Trintignant (nearly 130 movies in the last 56 years) and 84-year-old Riva (more than 50 movies in the last 52 years) as retired music teachers who have been married for decades. The 58-year-old Isabelle Huppert (more than 90 movies in the last four decades), plays the couple's musician daughter.

In the trailer below, Huppert's character tells her father that when she walked into his apartment, “I remembered how I'd always hear the two of you make love when I was a little kid. I had the feeling that you loved each other, and that you'd remain together forever.” But the elderly couple's devotion to each other is tested after the wife suffers a stroke.

Written and directed by Haneke, and also featuring Certified Copy's William Shimell, Amour is one of the films in competition for the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or. Three years ago, Haneke won the Palme d'Or for The White Ribbon.

Amour opens on Oct. 12 in France. There's no US date set as yet, but distributor Sony Pictures Classics should release it later this year.

Michael Haneke / Jean-Louis Trintignant / Emmanuelle Riva / Amour photo: Films du Losange / Sony Pictures Classics.

Nanni Moretti & American Glamour; Benh Zeitlin & 'Twilight 75'

Nanni MorettiWhile in the press room after the Cannes Film Festival awards ceremony, Official Competition jury president Nanni Moretti (photo) recognized Emmanuelle Riva's and Jean-Louis Trintignant's contributions to Michael Haneke's Palme d'Or winner Amour / Love. Moretti explained that whichever movie gets the Palme d'Or cannot receive any other award. As a result, neither Riva nor Trintignant could have won as Best Actress / Best Actor. [List of Cannes 2012 winners; Cannes Winners.]

The information above comes from Accréds' Twitter account. Another tweet remarked on jury member Andrea Arnold's admiration for Best Director Carlos Reygadas' controversial Post Tenebras Lux, which was loudly booed at its press screening. Both Arnold and fellow jury member Raoul Peck were likely ardent supporters of the (for some) surprising Best Director choice.

Back to Nanni Moretti: the Italian filmmaker told the assembled journalists that he is “not against glamour, but it must be found in movies that please me. “ According to Accréds, Moretti was referring to the American movies in competition, particularly Andrew Dominik / Brad Pitt's Killing Them Softly and John Hillcoat / Shia LaBeouf / Tom Hardy's Lawless. None of the US productions won a single Official Competition award.

Moretti also said he “noticed that some filmmakers were more enamored of their style than of their characters.” It's unclear whether he was referring to David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis (starring Robert Pattinson as a limo-riding billionaire) or Leos Carax's Holy Motors (starring Denis Lavant as various limo-riding eccentrics). Or perhaps some other movie(s). Despite a number of fervent supporters among film critics, both Cosmopolis and Holy Motors rode away from Cannes empty handed.

And without going into details, Moretti implied that no award was handed out unanimously.

And finally, Caméra d'Or* (and Sundance) winner Benh Zeitlin (for Beasts of the Southern Wild) was asked, “Sundance, Cannes, if you're ever at the Oscars, are you one day going to make Twilight 75?” The question was greeted by laughter in the press room. As for Zeitlin, perhaps aware that the Twilight Saga ends with Bill Condon's upcoming Breaking Dawn - Part 2, answered, “I don't believe so.”

* For Best First Film. The jury president was Brazilian filmmaker Carlos Diegues.


         
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