Written & Directed By: David Cronenberg
Based On The Novel By: Don Delilo
Cinematography By: Peter Suschitzky
Editor: Ronald Sanders
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Sarah Godon, Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti, Kevin Durand, Matthieu Almaric, Samantha Morton, Jay Baruchel, Zeljiko Kecojevic
Riding across Manhattan in a stretch limo in order to get a haircut, a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager’s day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.
I am shocked at this is the rare disappointment from a director who always manages to surprise me with his range of material and visuals. I thought I would feel the way I feel about the film the same way I felt about his previous film A DANGEROUS METHOD. I Ended up really appreciating that film which was a different pace then his usual output. While this film stays in that vein I didn’t really enjoy this film at all.
David Cronenberg is a director who scares me as each time I watch a new film of his. I never know what to expect usually there will be something grotesque, but also something that is guaranteed. I have never seen before. He’s an exciting director s you never know what you are going to get from him exactly.
I believe with this film he tried hard, but the material adapted from a Don Delilo novel is one of those books, That is hard to make a film with at least an entertaining one. I’m sure the challenge entices the filmmakers and audiences alike to not only see if they can rise to the occasion, but also what the results will be. Will it stick close to the novel’s material? will it make you feel the same way you felt reading the book? The film feels like it has something to say and is full of ideas. Something that would be a revolutionary piece. As I believe more is probably spelled out in the book. Even though maybe a inner monologue would have made more cerebral enjoyment. He did write the script amazingly in six days.
Where as here the film is missing something I can’t put my finger on entirely. The film stays off kilter and never seems to have a point, nor a plot as the film goes about aimlessly. It feels like a film from where Robert Pattinson’s character has a bunch of meetings inside of his limo. It tries to tell a tale or at least give his character some definition as the other actors who seem more like guest stars get a certain amount of time to relay information and get some kind of reaction from him. It runs from dramatic, comical to erotic. Though anytime they leave the limo you are relieved as you finally get out of the cramped claustrophobic space. Like stretching your legs after a never ending road trip.
Robert Pattinson does an o.k. job, but it’s hard to play an enigma. Especially when you are used to playing the romantic lead. The other actors are impressive as they make the most of their limited roles. It’s a shame as Cronenberg lines up a good cast for the supporting roles. They seem to have fun with their comedic quirky characters. It’s obvious Pattinson took this role to be taken more seriously as an actor and not be seen as a one trick pony heartthrob. Colin Farrell was originally cast but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with his movie TOTAL RECALL,
Marion Cotillard was originally cast as Elise Shifrin but dropped out due to pregnancy. After she dropped out, Noomi Rapace and Keira Knightly were considered to play the role before Sarah Godon accepted the part.
It’s a tough film to sit through and unfortunately has no real payoff. It’s the only film where I have watched a character try to seduce another while getting a proctol exam by a third party.
The film is well shot and primarily feels like a thriller that is more of a drama as you wait for the thrills and horrors that never come, but seem hinted at.