Some people may not have liked Rob and David Cronenberg’s movie Cosmopolis but it got on a fair few best of 2012 lists…
Cinemart – Top Ten Films Of 2012 – Editor’s Picks
#1 Cosmopolis (dir: David Cronenberg)
Cosmopolis is as talky as a screwball comedy and as visually wild as only cinema can be. David Cronenberg’s timely dissection of the haves and pseudo masters of the universe features an assured performance from Robert Pattinson as a man who just wants to get a haircut and ends up on an increasingly distracted quest that takes in existential angst, free market economics, a spot of casual murder, romance, sex, a prostate examination and anti-capitalism protests. A truly special work that demands you pay attention all the way, this one will stick in your head for weeks.
Yuppee Mag – Top 10 Films of 2012
One man, one limo, one day: with Cosmopolis David Cronenberg took on one of his most difficult challenges to date. The tale of one man driving through the Manhattan streets with the intent of getting a haircut from his favourite barbers is hardly the kind of material that would have most directors getting excited but not Cronenberg, his taste for the supposed unfilmable has shone through again and he has turned Cosmopolis into a fascinating movie.
Cosmopolis as you may have already gathered follows the story of one man, that man is Eric Packer, played by Robert Pattinson in what turns out to be the best performance of his young career by a considerable distance. Packer is a 28 year old business man who is for all intents and purposes at the very top of his game, a master of his own universe. Through out the course of the day we see various people drop into Packer in his limo, his doctor comes for a full prostate examination, his body guard drops in with the occasional line of bad news, his financial adviser, his lovers, the list goes on.
The movie may be about one day in the life of Packer but it is a very eventful day, Packer is driving through Manhattan amid the occupy Wall Street protests making him the target of vandalism and assault. In a scene where Packers limo is attacked and vandalised Packer and the rest of the limo appear to be seemingly unfazed by the incident. Surreal and compelling, Cronenberg has created a world that feels apocalyptic, where only the limo is a safe haven for Packer.
The movie is buoyed by some fantastic performances; Pattinson has finally sunk his claws into a role whilst Paul Giamatti is fantastic as a former employee of Packers in an incredibly tense end scene. Sarah Gadon is also suitably strange as Packers wife, throughout the movie they share a number of strange and uncomfortable meetings which appear to have no little to no point.
Cronenberg has created a work of pure postmodern beauty. It’s not an easy ride but its one that should certainly be taken. One of my favourite films of the year.
Chicagoist – Our Favorite Movies Of 2012
Cosmopolis (directed by David Cronenberg, 2012)
The old, weird, paranoid Cronenberg is back. With a vengeance, typified by a thoroughly offputting scene where Robert Pattinson’s reclusive billionaire undergoes another one of his daily medical exams. He points out a weird spot on his skin, and asks the physician, “What do we do about this?” The physician benignly replies, “Let it express itself.” Thank goodness for home video, where peculiar movies like this can bubble up to the surface again.
Indiewire 2012 Year-End Critics Poll
39. Robert Pattinson, Cosmopolis Overall Critic Score: 10
18. Cosmopolis Overall Critic Score: 162
14. Cosmopolis Overall Critic Score: 3
9. Cosmopolis Overall Critic Score: 4
15. Cosmopolis Overall Critic Score: 2
Icon Film Distribution Australia – Top 10 Actors of 2012
ROBERT PATTINSON – COSMOPOLIS
28 year-old finance golden boy Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) appears to have it all, yet nothing is what it seems. Chauffeured across Manhattan for a haircut, the young Wall Street titan finds his world beginning to unravel: a sham marriage, sex addiction, phobias and paranoia, all amidst the crumbling of his empire. As the day devolves into an odyssey that tears his world apart, Eric starts to piece together clues that lead him to a terrifying secret: his imminent assassination.
Cine Talk – Anton Bitel’s So-Called 2012 Top Films
Meanwhile Cronenberg Sr showed he has lost none of his touch with Cosmopolis, starring vampire of sorts Robert Pattinson, whose career is now officially disinterred. Adapted and updated from Don De Lillo’s 2003 novel, the film follows a New York plutocrat’s ride across town for a (literal and symbolic) haircut, as in the space of one day – and mostly within the confines of his customised limousine – he loses everything. It is also an elegiac odyssey through the kind of self-destructive hubris that led to the Credit Crunch and the economic mess that we are still in today. Indeed, it has been a good year for films set in limousines, as Leos Carax’s uncategorisable Holy Motors (recently placed first in Cahiers du Cinema’s Top Ten films of 2012) also took viewers on a chauffeur-driven trip, through a Paris mapped out in cinematic references where individual identity is constructed from a series of absurdly pre-scribed parts and actor’s postures. Denis Lavant is astonishingly versatile in the lead rôle(s), even if the film at times risks running itself off the road with its episodic meanderings.
Slant Magazine – The 25 Best Films of 2012
13. Cosmopolis. In the end, it’s mere gravy that David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis unfolds in a world that eerily, and almost blatantly, reflects our modern headlines, its Occupy themes and global-capital woes perpetually looming. What’s truly depicted in this gorgeous adaptation of Don DeLillo’s prescient 2003 novel is the whittling down of the poster boy of individual, millennial anxieties, sparked by the deadly, rampant elixir of privilege, apathy, and telecommuting. From his rolling command center of a white limousine, the WiFi hot spot of the obscenely rich, billionaire Eric Packer (a revelatory Robert Pattinson) is at once linked up to the world and maddeningly removed from it, his personal, untried revolving door granting equal access to wisdom and delusion, personified by the limo’s parade of guests. Evoking its director’s past aesthetics and bodily interests with cool restraint, Cosmopolis is a wry, stylish nightmare of contemporary disconnect, and an audacious charting of all that crumbles when reality seeps in. With much dialogue lifted verbatim from DeLillo’s text, the film’s dizzying verbosity may be challenging to swallow, but in a cinematic year teeming with lone protagonists clawing for ways to survive, it has more to say—and to mull over—than maybe 100 movies. R. Kurt Osenlund
Film Comment – 50 BEST FILMS OF 2012
David Cronenberg, Canada/France
Total Film – 50 Best Movies Of 2012
The Movie: The second of two David Cronenberg films released in the UK this year was a return to his weird roots, as Robert Pattinson is driven across riot-stricken Manhattan so he can have a haircut.
The sex, death and horrendous hand injuries were classic Cronenberg, but most people noticed only the endless talk, talk, talk…
Impact: Mass walkouts from disgruntled R-Pattz fans who didn’t want to see their hero having his prostrate examined.
And, alongside Holy Motors, a sudden surge in ‘guy in a limousine’ movies.
The Film Stage – The Most Overlooked Films of 2012
Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg; $763,556)
This one’s been stewing in my brain for months, and none of the reflection has tainted this film one bit; if anything, it’s only grown more valuable over time. David Cronenberg’s limousine trip into the damaged perspective of a young, emotionally hollow fat cat — played to perfection by a not-as-advertised Robert Pattinson — can’t really be considered the most accessible work of 2012, but those willing to go with its strange rhythms and mysterious internal logic are bound to get… something. While I think it’s best people make the thing out for themselves by just letting it all sit, those simply hoping for a left-of-center cinematic experience ought to find themselves more than pleased. And that’s without even considering the incredible music of Howard Shore & Metric. – Nick N.
The 10 Best Films You Didn’t See In 2012
Moviefone – ‘Cosmopolis’ (David Cronenberg)
There seemed to be a little juice behind Canadian director David Cronenberg’s latest effort, a wonderfully meandering adaptation of Dom DeLillo’s novel of the same name that charts a single, seemingly endless limousine ride. For one, the film premiered at Cannes, to mostly ecstatic audiences (full disclosure: I was in one of them), and for another, Cronenberg loaded his bizarre contraption with a secret weapon: Robert Pattinson. As a disaffected billionaire, Pattinson showed unheard of gravitas and wit, both of which were sorely missing during his five-movie tenure as sparkly vampire Edward in the “Twilight” movies. But not even his handsome or borderline hieroglyphic face, could get people to come out to “Cosmopolis.” Granted, the movie is pretty weird. But it’s also tremendously rewarding — it works its hooks into you and, months after seeing it, I still can’t stop thinking about it. It’s also part of 2012’s great limousine ride double feature, along with Leos Carax’s equally strange “Holy Motors.” The mini-bar optional.
Canada’s Top 10 Of 2012
David Cronenberg’s chilling adaptation of Don DeLillo’s apocalyptic satire about a billionaire financier is extraordinarily timely in the wake of the recent financial crisis brought on by the wild speculation and unrestrained greed. Robert Pattinson plays Robert Packer, the young tycoon whom the film follows as he creeps in his limousine across an imploding New York City, his life of absurd luxury set to come crashing down around him.
It’s a scenario that seems geared expressly toward Cronenberg’s sensibilities. The film plays like Videodrome — or, as the New Yorker argued, Crash — transplanted to the increasingly endangered world of the one per cent, and rolling out like a seamless fusion of La Ronde, pornographic movies and Celine’s Journey to the End of the Night. As Packer frets about a market gamble he’s made, he fails to notice the world around him sliding into anarchy as he foolishly insists on being driven across town to get a haircut (despite the traffic and an impending visit by the President, which has the city in lockdown).
Boasting the hippest casts of any Canadian film this year, Cosmopolis also stars Sarah Gadon (A Dangerous Method; Anti-Viral) as Packer’s new bride; Jay Baurchel (Goon; Tropic Thunder); Emily Hampshire (The Trotsky; My Awkward Sexual Adventure); and imports Paul Giamatti, Juliette Binoche and Samantha Morton.
Sight & Sound’s Best Of 2012
1. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, USA)
2. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, Portugal/Germany/France)
3. Amour (Michael Haneke, France/Germany/Austria)
4. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, France/Germany)
5. Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin, USA)
= Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, UK/Germany)
7. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, USA)
8. Beyond the Hills (Christian Mungiu, Romania/France/Belgium)
= Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, Canada/France/Portugal/Italy)
= Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey/Bosnia & Herzegovina)
= This is Not A Film (Jafar Pahani & Mojtaba Mirtahmaseb, Iran)
Cahiers du Cinema’s Top 10 of 2012
1. Holy Motors (Leos Carax)
2. Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg)
3. Twixt (Francis Ford Coppola)
4. 4:44 Last Day On Earth (Abel Ferrara)
4. In Another Country (Hong Sang-Soo)
4. Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols)
7. Go Go Tales (Abel Ferrara)
8. Tabu (Miguel Gomes)
8. Faust (Alexadre Sokourov)
10. Keep The Lights On (Ira Sachs)