Film TV : Maps to the Stars - Among the ghosts of Hollywood
Written by Bruce Wagner and directed by David Cronenberg, Maps to the Stars weaves the rugged beauty of Los Angeles with his gloomy and tragic-comic story of a Hollywood family whose members, struggling with the relentless ghosts of their past, show how fame, success and appreciation, carry a high cost to pay.
The result of a job [effort?] that lasted two decades, the screenplay of Maps to the Stars dates back to the early nineties and is based on the personal experience of Wagner himself, who before becoming a writer worked as a limo driver (which inspired the character played by Robert Pattinson in the film) in Hollywood and has lived close to the turbulence of an environment made up of contradictions, of glory and wickedness, ambitions and illusions, and sudden success and sensational falls. Totally changing gender [genre?] and moving away from the issues that have made him famous, with Maps of the Stars Cronenberg produces an abnormal drama which at its center stands the Weiss family: a father’s guru, a teenage son and heartthrob [fresh out of] rehab, a mother intent on maintaining a high price for her actor son, and a daughter mysteriously scarred and obsessed with trying to find their [her?] place in the family circle. Mystery intervenes into the dynamics of the Weiss family, however, as a series of appearances of non-life, ghosts, mixing memories, fleeting hopes and unmet needs, reflect the contemporary focus on topics such as death, depravity and resurrection.
Filmed in Toronto and Los Angeles, Maps to the Stars relies on the director of photography Peter Suschitzky (Cronenberg’s faithful collaborator from the days of Dead Ringers ), the production designer Carol Spier, costumes by Denise Cronenberg and music by Howard Shore.
At the center of Maps of the Stars is the character of Havana Segrand, one of the most famous Hollywood actresses, but always in the shadow of her more legendary mother Clarice Taggart, an even more famous actress who died in a fire. Interpreting Havana and Clarice, her mother, are respectively Julianne Moore and Sarah Gadon, [who are] called to forge a relationship between mother/daughter that does not even know the boundaries of death. Showing no shame, Havana is a woman who lives completely secluded in a world of fiction, since it is as if she had a family and is very angry with her mother for the way in which, according to her, she had been abused. The emotional chaos which marks Havana takes an even darker turn when her mother’s role* in an upcoming film production could be assigned to another and not to her, making her see the ghost of Clarice at inopportune moments. [*in other story reports, we learn this is the role that made her actress mother, Clarice, famous ~BuckyW]
At first glance, the Weiss family seem to live a happy life, however, looking at them closely you can see that their fame, material wealth and honors, are just a litmus test for doubts, disappointments and dangerous secrets, which come to the fore with the entrance of Agatha, the daughter who’s been away from home for a long time due to psychiatric problems as a result of a tragic accident that has left her terribly marked with scars and burns on face and hands. Brought to the stage by Mia Wasikowska, Agatha comes home and, by fate, is working alongside Havana.
The last person who wanted to see Agatha in the family [again] is the father, Sanford, a guru that acts as a psychologist on TV, offering new age platitudes and dispensing advice to the masses. Played by John Cusack, Sanford counts a number of celebrity clients – one of these is Havana Segrand- and is strongly attached to the success of the teenage son Benjie, star of a television series. With the face of Evan Bird, Benjie is trying to make the point on [resurrect?] his career after ending up in rehab because of a drug problem, but is forced to confront the ghost of his adolescent spirit. Always defending Benjie to the hilt, is his manager-mother, Cristina, played by Olivia Williams.
Returning to Los Angeles, Agatha develops a solid friendship with Jerome, her limo driver. Played by Robert Pattinson, Jerome is an aspiring writer who keeps working as a driver and is the only character in the story who is not touched by madness or by a ghost.
Source => Film TV / Via => Spunk Ransom