22 June - 5 July 2012
Until now, no one has attempted to adapt the cerebral work of American writer Don DeLillo for the big screen. David Cronenberg has bravely taken the plunge with Cosmopolis, a slim volume about a multi-millionaire asset manager driving across New York in a stretch limo to get a haircut while his investments and the market go up in flames.
As the wealthy Eric Packer, teen heartthrob Robert Pattinson shows us that he’s not just a pretty face but a fine actor with a wider range than many have given him credit for. Most of the film takes place inside Packer’s luxurious limo as he comes into contact with various employees who inform him that his business is collapsing. Outside, the world is descending into a chaos of anticapitalist protest. When Eric does leave the vehicle, it is mostly to meet with his wealthy, remote wife Shifrun (Sarah Gadon), although there is one priceless scene where he is accosted by a custard pie-throwing terrorist (Matthieu Amalric). Dark and brooding, the film crescendos to a memorable verbal showdown between Packer and his mysterious stalker (Paul Giamatti).
Cosmopolis won’t fall into the classic Cronenberg canon of ‘body horror’ cinema (unless you count the soon-to-befamous rectal exam scene) but it is preoccupied with the same dark, oppressive atmospheric detail that we saw in Videodrome and Crash.