Robert Pattinson, The Rover and Maps to the Stars on ‘Best of 2014’ lists
Robert Pattinson (“The Rover” and “Maps to the Stars”)
20. “The Rover”
If one takes “The Rover” on its own methodical, minimalist terms — an existentialist fable that burrows deep into the moralism of its corrupted, barren landscape — it’s hard to deny that writer/director David Michod’s sophomore effort wholly accomplishes what it sets out to do. Stripping away all narrative complexity to the point of abstraction, the character study really breathes, but in such a completely different way to Michod’s triumphant last feature “Animal Kingdom,” that after just two features and a few shorts, Michod has us convinced he’s the real deal. Featuring a stunningly grizzled, grimy lead performance by Guy Pearce, easily one of our favorite working actors, and an impressive turn from Robert Pattinson who is growing as a performer with every film, it’s a movie that pulsates beneath the surface and in the long silences between dialogue and outbursts of violence. And it’s starkly beautiful to look at and to listen to, eschewing revelations and plot twists to deliver its deceptively simple story through mood, tone and atmosphere.
21. THE ROVER
All eyes were on David Michôd, when he pitched up his second feature film, “The Rover.” It must be said that the initial “Mad Max” comparisons were a disservice, as this outback-set existential drama (starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson) wasn’t interested much in high-octane thrills and chase scenes at all.
The Rover is a slow-burn chase movie set in the Australian outback 10 years after “the collapse.” What exactly that collapse is and how it came to be are never explained, but from the film’s first few frames it’s easy to put the pieces together. Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson play opposites brought together by circumstance and their only goal is to track down a group of thieves with precious cargo. The Rover is a movie that demands patience and rewards you with beauty.
11. “The Rover”
By now we know how critically hushed the reception of David Michod’s “The Rover” has been (though, as seen in our 20 Best Films Of 2014 list, and our Cannes review, we do not agree with the general perception), but the early trailer is an intriguing glimpse at everything that’s fascinating in the film. The images, showcasing the film’s gorgeous cinematography and merciless spirit, just keep adding to the poetic nature hinted at by an earlyW.B. Yeats quote, until Robert Pattinson’s tragic lost soul comes up on screen. Once Sol Seppy’s “Enter One” glides in (one of the most effective uses of a song in any trailer this year), it becomes pretty clear that Michod’s film is imbued with melancholia and evokes a deep longing for any semblance of humanity left in a Godless world.
6. “The Rover”
You gotta hand it to Aussie David Michôd. After “Animal Kingdom” the world was his oyster and he spent months in Hollywood looking at scripts and potential projects. But for a second act Michôd decided to take a bold left turn with “The Rover,” a dissonant, minimalist two-hander that feels literally scorched by the sun. For his post-economic-collapse picture, Michôd decided to only employ post-apocalyptic modes through mood, atmosphere, and music. While there’s some score by Antony Partos utilized, the bulk of the movie’s simmering, sinister musical tendencies are discordant and cacophonous source music by experimental and ambient composers the director chose (all of it listed here). There’s seminal avant-garde musician William Basinski (who might be experiencing a minor renaissance since he was used in “The Comedy” in 2013), Chicago post-rockers Tortoise, and Montreal-based saxophonist and multireedist Colin Stetson—a touring member of Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre, and Bon Iver (he also wrote the underrated score for “Blue Caprice” along withSarah Neufeld from Arcade Fire). “The Rover” is not the most inviting or forgiving movie, but that’s the point (and of course a chipper Keri Hilsonsong briefly breaks the mood in a moment that’s both comical and yet heartbreaking). It’s a bleak, nihilistic look at the strange and unlikely partnership between a deceptively complex simpleton (Robert Pattinson) and callous, nearly inhuman man (Guy Pearce) who will stop at nothing to retrieve all that he has lost. And Michôd’s soundtrack is equally cruel, heartless, and unrelenting—in the best way.
Maps to the Stars
1. Maps To The Stars
2. Charlie Victor Romeo
3. The Kidnapping Of Michel Houellebecq
4. The Smell Of Us
6. Who Took Johnny
7. L’il Quinquin
8. Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1 and 2
10. The Films Of Joanna Hogg (“Unrelated,” “Archipelago,” “Exhibition”)
1. “Goodbye to Language”
2. “Inherent Vice”
4. “The Americans”
5. “Under the Skin”
6. “The Marx Brothers TV Collection” [DVD box set]
9. “The Congress”
10. “Maps to the Stars”
6. Maps to the Stars
Celebrity is often satirised, but not usually so well. David Cronenburg’s Maps to the Stars was appalling, trashy, and thrilling. Stunningly entertaining yet thought provoking and at times, moving. It was testament to the idea that perfect execution can sometimes be better than having the most original idea.
10. “Maps to the Stars” (dir. David Cronenberg)
I love every stupid moment of this sick, twisted, nasty little movie (which had a tiny qualifying run in LA this month) that has been misinterpreted as satire—it’s not. It’s a dead-serious, pitch-black ghost story and, sure, it’s tonally a mess, but I loved writhing in the filth of writer Bruce Wagner’s Hollywood rock-bottom, a demimonde of deluded pill-swilling actresses, schizophrenic burn victims, incest families and drug-addicted child stars. In other words, home sweet home for director David Cronenberg.
15. MAPS TO THE STARS
Julianne Moore bagged the Best Actress gong at Cannes for her portrayal of Havana Segrand, a middle-aged Hollywood actress going insane. David Cronenberg’s “Map to the Stars” was less all-guns-blazing industry satire and more nightmarish portrayal of highly-strung celebrities finally losing their already tenuous grip on reality.
Maps To The Stars
Hollywood: a land possessed by poisonous personalities; a place rammed wall-to-wall with bitterly over-indulged souls who have it all and still want more; a toxic environment in which glamour has been eroded by addiction and desperation. Or at least that’s how David Cronenberg’s caustic satire paints it.
The mass of personality defects on display throughout Maps To The Stars gives it the feel of slick soap opera amplified to sick extremities: its characters rejoice when the tragedy of others sparks a personal resurrection; pop pills like Polo mints; and treat their fans like parasitic carriers of disease. If this film so much as touches on reality, ol’ Dave has probably alienated the majority of his industry contacts. Ben Hopkins
Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska and John Cusack came together to star in satirical drama, Maps to The Stars, directed by David Cronenberg. The plot follows two former child actors in life after fame and makes a statement about today’s entertainment industry within the Western world.
1. Boyhood (dir. Richard Linklater)
2. Under the Skin (dir. Jonathan Glazer)
3. 12 Years a Slave (dir. Steve McQueen)
4. Mr Turner (dir. Mike Leigh)
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel (dir. Wes Anderson)
6. Two Days, One Night (dirs. Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne)
7. Exhibition (dir. Joanna Hogg)
8. Maps to the Stars (dir. David Cronenberg)
9. Norte, The End of History (dir. Lav Diaz)
10. Ida (dir. Paweł Pawlikowski)
Artforum – John Waters’ Best of 2014
1 MAPS TO THE STARS (David Cronenberg) Hilariously funny and, dare I say it, yes, pernicious. I love this film more than I love my own mustache.
Cahiers du Cinema – Top 10 Films of 2014
1. Bruno Dumont‘s Li’l Quinquin.
2. Jean-Luc Godard‘s Goodbye to Language.
3. Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin.
4. David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars.
5. Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises.
6. Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac.
7. Xavier Dolan‘s Mommy.
8. Ira Sachs‘s Love Is Strange.
9. Alain Cavalier‘s Le Paradis.
10. Hong Sang-soo‘s Our Sunhi.
TIFF – Canada’s Top Ten Films of 2014
TIFF (@TIFF_NET) December 01, 2014
Xavier Dolan’s acclaimed drama “Mommy,” David Cronenberg’s Hollywood satire “Maps to the Stars” and Sturla Gunnarsson’s epic India-shot documentary “Monsoon” are among the flicks that will screen during TIFF’s annual Canada’s Top 10 Film Festival.
“Now it’s our chance to get together and celebrate our best. Thirty impressive new films, plus one-of-a-kind onstage conversations add up to a great way to warm up the winter.”
The 10-day festival — which features screenings, Q&A’s with filmmakers and special events — runs from Jan. 2 to 11 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto before making stops in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Montreal.
For the first time, audiences will be able to vote to crown the Canada’s Top 10 Film Festival People’s Choice Winner.
Empire – The 50 Posters of 2014
We love it for… Mia Wasikowska’s creepy, creepy eyes.