Hot on the heels of A Dangerous Method, his period piece about the early days of psychoanalysis and another of his explorations of the mind/body schism, David Cronenberg delivers his vision of Don DeLillo’s novel Cosmopolis. Although it met with a mixed reception when published in 2003, DeLillo’s highly imaginative portrait of a crazy modern world proves ideally suited to Cronenberg, who returns here to some of the core concerns of his earlier films (Videodrome, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch).
The central character, Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), is a precocious New York financial guru who traverses a chaotic Manhattan in his stretch limousine in search of a haircut. Like earlier Cronenberg protagonists, Eric is really seeking some form of ‘alternative reality’ as he manipulates the money market from the bubble-world of his ultra-high-tech limo, which also serves as office and bedroom. Eric’s world begins to crumble as his – and society’s – anxieties and phobias erupt into physical violence. This thoughtful and alarming modern fable is essential viewing. (Notes by Peter Walsh.)