Even though its tone is resigned and mordantly funny and its pace is slow, Cosmopolis is a thrillingly spare, controlled work. But you have to be willing to adapt to its sleepwalking mood and to its performances, which occur within such a narrow emotional bandwidth that at one point I pictured an orchestra conductor handing a violinist a Stradivarius with one string and saying, “You can make beautiful music with this, trust me.” Every actor rises to the challenge. The movie features one bizarre knockout supporting turn after another: Juliette Binoche as a lover who interrogates Eric after fucking him; Gadon’s Elise, whose beyond-her-years cynicism is a bulwark against emotional collapse; Durand’s security guy Torval, who’s got more didja-know tidbits than Johnny the Shoeshine Guy on Police Squad! but ultimately comes to seem like just another lost soul blustering through chaos. Giamatti’s all-out anguish in the finale almost steals the picture from Pattinson.
But the star never loses his grip. I never would have guessed from the Twilight movies that he was capable of a performance this intelligent, despairing, and honest; at his best he reminded me of James Spader’s character in sex, lies and videotape, a smug bastard who intellectualizes his selfishness into faux-philosophy. If Pattinson gets nominated for awards for Cosmopolis, the clip should be the scene where Eric carries on a high-flown conversation while enduring the longest prostate exam in history, an invasion of an asshole’s asshole. But there’s a real person beneath Eric’s shellacked surface, and when it finally cracks—in a surprisingly tender exchange with a rapper (Gouchy Boy) grieving for his dead hero and his own mortality—the character’s pain feels real, and true.It's a great read. Click HERE to read in its entirety.
Film School Rejects also named Cosmopolis the most relevant movie of the year! Rob isn't specifically mentioned because it's more analytical of the actual film and meaning:
But if Cosmopolis is an alienating experience, that’s because it’s about the alienation of contemporary experience. Eric’s limo is a model of media convergence not unlike a smart phone in that its function permeates well beyond its archaic name (“phone” is hardly the appropriate term for what we use today, just as Eric and Kinsky lament the stupidity of other mainstay terms like “airplane” and “computer”), and also provides a shelter for the most basic human actions, from penetration to urination. Eric has all the access to the world’s information at his fingertips, yet he is notably separated from “the world” whateverthatmeans, seemingly privileged with a legion of followers who come to him without ever visibly arriving or leaving. Bookstores and diners are not the only places of leisure for Eric. That Eric’s shoes rarely touch the asphalt of the street (until the final act) signals that the material world itself has become an escape from the “reality” he’s manufactured as his working life.
This alienation gives Eric (and his many passengers) the opportunity to experience lived life simultaneously with a critique and analysis of it. Strangely, DeLillo and Cronenberg make a compelling case that the space of the one-percent does not so much manufacture Romneyesque out-of-touch-ness as it potentially provides the ideal container for intellectual inquiry: Eric has omnipotent access to “real life,” but is distanced enough from it to engage in critique (I’m not sure how much this move elevates the bezerkly rich or denigrates academics). With alienation comes immediacy: Kinsky, without an ounce of worry about the dangerous puncture of reality seeping in, is able to comment on the riots outside as they occur. When the anarchists’ protest finally comes crashing down onto Eric’s roof, the scene’s mutedness is maddening and disappointing (especially in contrast to the depiction of this scene in Cosmopolis’s advertising campaign, which finds on-the-ground anarchy far more exciting and marketable). And that’s the point. Cosmopolis is a quiet film, not because it’s scant on dialogue (hardly), but because it deliberately obliterates any semblance of atmosphere. The sound, or absence of it, that’s deafening in Eric’s car is also the sound of the blog post, the online bank transfer, the scroll of the stock quote.Click HERE to read in its entirety.
But the star continues to get his praise. From Screened:
It’s that moment that kicks off the last leg of the film, which veers deep into destruction and desolation so resolute that I won’t begin to try to enumerate its facets here. But it is terrifying, not only for how real and of-the-moment it feels but in how muchPattinson invests in the role. This is the kind of role that demands a range that only a great actor working with a great director can pull off, and every eye rolling critic of Pattinson’s more famous works is going to have to reassess after this as his fanbase recoils in horror to see their icon throw himself into the deep end of the most negative human experiences. Here is someone, frequently dismissed, giving what I feel is easily the best performance of the year.