Maps to the Stars (2014)

Maps to the Stars
Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: Bruce Wagner
Cast: Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, Mia Wasikowska, Evan Bird, Sarah Gadon, Olivia Williams, Carrie Fisher

Plot:
Agatha (Mia Wasikowska) just arrived in Hollywood and is chauffeured around by Jerome (Robert Pattinson). But it quickly becomes clear that it isn’t her first time in the city, even if she hasn’t been in a while. She gets a job as an assistant to ageing actress Havana (Julianne Moore) who is obsessed with her mother (Sarah Gadon), also an actress who died at a very young age. For that she is in therapy with Stafford Weiss (John Cusack) whose unconventional methods are also selling pretty well as books. Stafford’s son Benjie (Evan Bird) is a child actor himself and has just been released from rehab, despite being only 13 years old. Now he and his mother Cristina (Olivia Williams) try everything to get his career back on track. But things in Hollywood are treacherous indeed.

Maps to the Stars was an interesting look at Hollywood with a stellar cast. It does make me wonder how much of it is actually realistic (since it is touted as such an honest look at Hollywood) but pushing that aside, it is definitely a smart, engaging film.

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Chained (2012)

Chained
Director: Jennifer Chambers Lynch
Writer: Jennifer Chambers Lynch
Based on: a screenplay by Damian O’Donnell
Cast: Vincent D’Onofrio, Eamon Farren, Evan Bird, Julia Ormond, Conor Leslie
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
When Tim (Evan Bird) is 9 years old, he and his mother Sarah (Julia Ormond) are abducted by Bob (Vincent D’Onofrio), a taxi driver. Bob kills Sarah and chains Tim – from then on called only Rabbit – to the house, using him as a slave for general housekeeping, but also for body disposal. Almost 10 years later, Rabbit (Eamon Farren) is still there and Bob realizes that he can’t just leave things as they are – and starts to educate Rabbit to be his successor.

Chained was an excellent, engaging movie – right up until the very end where they tried to surprise the audience with a really implausible twist.

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