Burn victim Agatha Weiss (Mia Wasikowska) arrives in Hollywood in search of the stars, child superstar Benjie Weiss (Evan Bird) faces yet another sequel and former leading lady Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore) fights for one last role; on the surface, a pretty realistic and average day in Hollywood, but as Maps to the Stars progresses, we discover just how closely entwined the lives of these characters really are but also the darkness lurking beneath their Hollywood white veneers.
Adapted from a script penned by novelist Bruce Wagner Maps to the Stars is a cutting portrayal of the callousness of Hollywood; perennial outsider David Cronenburg delivers a damning tale of incest, mental illness and the fate that can befall an aging star, even if that star is only 15. Satirical, plagued with exaggeration and with humour as dark as the hearts of the characters it portrays, Maps to the stars is nonetheless a fantastic caricature of Hollywood life whilst at the same time giving the audience a strange but enticing tale of familial dysfunction that will have audiences wondering just what could possibly happen next.
Julianne Moore’s portrayal of a fading beauty with serious mummy issues displays exactly why in 2015 she’s finally conquered the Oscars and Mia Wasikowska’s form never fails and she delivers another seamless performance as a dysfunctional teen, awkward in life and in love. Evan Bird deserves more than just a nod for his performance of the films ‘anti-hero’; a young actor with a strong career ahead of him, he is able to make you detest him whilst commanding the audience to pour sympathy on him as we understand how and why he is the way he is.
Plot spoilers are a real detriment to this film as so much relies on the slow reveal, so I’ll keep the detail to a minimum. Maps to the Stars is a Cronenburg classic, it’s a film that doesn’t fit in with the Hollywood in-crowd and is all the better for it.
For fans of the quirky, definitely one to watch!
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