Entertainment One Films will open David Cronenberg‘s Cosmopolis in New York and L.A. on 8.17, and then stand idly by as the film commits ritual seppuku among Cronenberg and Robert Pattinson fans alike. For whatever reason Cosmopolis will open over two months earlier in Canada (6.8) and then England (6.15). Is Entertainment One looking to give potential U.S. ticket buyers a chance to think twice before committing themselves?
U.S. Canada border-town guy to girlfriend: “Hey, Cosmopolis opens in Canada tomorrow…wanna cross the border and go?” Girlfriend: “Nah, I can wait a couple of months. Sounds like more of an August film anyway…y’know?”
Before Cosmopolis opened in Cannes the journo buzz was like “hmm, yeah, Cronenberg and DeLillo and Pattinson…who knows, right? Maybe.” Now it’s so cold you could wrap fish in it.
“We all know that Wall Street sharks are the compulsive demons of our time and are probably living with suppressed torment of one kind or another,” I wrote on 5.2, “so going into this I knew it wouldn’t do for Cronenberg to just say that Packer is a beast and show how devoid he is of humanity. The film would have to say ‘yeah, he’s a beast but he used to be human…see?’ Or ‘he’s more than a beast — he’s an alien.’ Or ‘he’s a beast but there might be a way out.’ Something more than just ‘this guy is all but dead, and you’re going to spend 108 minutes watching him be a zombie as he talks trade and devaluations and currencies and fucks hot women.’
“Lamentably, Cosmopolis does almost exactly that. And with non-stop chatter so compact and persistent and airless your ears will eventually fall off. With the same determination that Packer — played by Pattinson with his usual glum, shark-eyed passivity — takes himself down, Cosmopolis talks itself to death.
“I was dying for a little silence, a little quiet outside the limo…a sunset, an empty, wind-swept boulevard at pre-dawn, an encounter with a friend or two. Oh, that’s right — Packer hasn’t any.
Cosmopolis is “too familiar, too regimented, too claustropobic, too obvious. Yes, you’re constantly aware of Cronenberg’s fierce behind-the-camera talent, his determination to stay with his apparently quite faithful screenplay of Don DeLillo‘s book and to not cop out by making a film about how Pattinson’s Eric Packer used to be human but is now an alien although there might be a way out. That’s not the Cronenberg way. He gives it to you his way, and you just have to sit there and take it.”