ROUND-UP: Media Reviews & Reactions to ‘Maps to the Stars’ Cannes Press Screening

‘Maps to the Stars’ screened for press at Cannes today and the reactions are rolling in…and are overwhelmingly positive!! We’ve excerpted our favourite parts of the reviews but you can check out the full write ups by clicking on each link. We’ll be updating as they come in so check back frequently!

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Independent (4/5 stars):

This is high class soap opera with a cerebral twist. Its sudden shifts in tone are disconcerting but it is funny, ghoulish and has plenty of satirical bite.

Elle UK:

It’s hard to say what is more powerful… the characters, the performances or the gripping, sickly story. One thing is for sure – this film will stay with you. And change the way you watch films forever. 

Movie City News:

To be sure, Cronenberg’s navigation combined with Wagner’s pen (“it’s a fucking art film!”) make Maps to the Stars both a standout of Cannes 2014, and the best film the director has made since 2005.

Way Too Indie:

…Great fun, and an invigorating addition to Cronenberg’s offbeat filmography.

The Wrap:

To that end, Maps to the Stars Home dips elegantly into the surreal and the real, bobbing in and out of both effortlessly. You never see the strings. Much of this is clearly due to the writing — this is one hell of a script. But it is also a well-oiled machine, with actors knowing exactly what tone is required and a director who, of course, can’t help but dive right in.

That makes Maps of the Stars probably the most exciting, unexpected surprise of the film festival so far.


 Pattinson and Cronenberg are developing a nice collaboration, however, and here’s to hoping we get to see more from the two of them.


With a script by novelist Bruce Wagner and a cast that includes Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska and John Cusack, as well as Carrie Fisher, herself a mordant chronicler of Tinseltown excesses, it certainly has its bona fides in order, and the hosannahs are intense enough to raise expectations that the dissents don’t manage to drown out. After all, if no one hated it, it would be a David Cronenberg movie, would it?

Indiewire (B+):

Cronenberg turns Hollywood into a haven of grotesqueries that so exhaustively consumes its inhabitants they can’t see it around them.


Cronenberg’s go-to composer, Howard Shore, delivers one of his best scores yet for the dry Canadian maestro, a menacing undertow that picks up on some of the ethnic, New Age sounds of the world it depicts, but shifts them into Clockwork Orange territory.

The Playlist:

…good news is here, because the Canadian director’s latest, “Maps To The Stars,” just premiered at Cannes, and while it’s substantially different from the “Videodrome“s and “Crash“es of the world, and probably rather more disposable, it’s certainly the director’s most twisted, and as a consequence, most deliciously entertaining film, in quite a long while. (B+)

The Telegraph:

There are so many snakes in play, it takes a while to work out which fangs connect to which rattle. The first is Agatha, the young woman from the coach, played by Mia Wasikowska. She’s come to town ostensibly to help the actress Carrie Fisher, whom she befriended on Twitter, to write a novel – “although it might become something for HBO,” she blithely tells Jerome, a chauffeur and would-be actor winningly played by Robert Pattinson. (5 stars)


It’s not a film that feels very subtle on a first watch, but my sense is actually that repeat viewings will pay dividends – it’s a juicy piece of work with several blackly comic set-pieces … that may distract from the underlying meat. To expand on just one example: “stars”, after all, have a celestial meaning far removed from the sleaze of celebrity culture, and yet they too have a resonance in this film.


Julianne Moore, in particular, gives her all for the occasion


The film can be consumed as a straight-arrow take on the modern movie industry and its discontents, but it’s clear there’s another, possibly more interesting and radical film obscured in the backdrop by the thick LA smog. There’s astrology, Freudian tomfoolery, wedding farce, supernatural visitation and much pop psychology.

 The Guardian:

David Cronenberg’s new film here at Cannes is a gripping and exquisitely horrible movie about contemporary Hollywood – positively vivisectional in its sadism and scorn. It is twisted, twisty, and very far from all the predictable outsider platitudes about celebrity culture. (4 out of 5 stars)


Cronenberg’s direction feels at home in a world of soulless homes and offices, clubs at night and flash cars. He locates a deeply sick spirit in his tale and explores it through far-fetched fiction told with deadly seriousness, also adding a dose of baroque to proceedings and a streak of wicked humour.

FilmdeCulte: (translation)

What brings together them is one of the recurring themes of Cronenberg’s work: the quasi-schizophrene separation of image and identity. Hollywood obviously is the ideal playground for such a topic. Cronenberg is added to this line of great movies on a broken Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard in whatever happened to Baby Jane Mulholland Dr. and most recent and miniature The Canyons. With his own, less melodramatic – style the film is very moving – but with a pretty fascinating clinical strangeness. To do this, Cronenberg has not been afraid to get dirty fingers with juicy twists sometimes escaped from an episode of Sunset Beach, unlike more timid writers who know what auteuriser. This mixture of coldness and vulgarity and one of the peculiarities of this regulation of mythological account disguised magical tale of cinema (5 out of 6 stars)