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By talisencrw January 31, 2017
I really enjoyed this Cronenberg film. Though my favourite films of his
are the incredible ones he did in my teens, during the 80's
('Videodrome', 'The Dead Zone' and 'The Fly' are nothing short of
outstanding, and works that no one else could have come up with), he's
really been thinking outside of the box for the past decade (even for a
consistently interesting creature such as he), and it's only been
recently, with both Sarah Polley and Denis Villeneuve emerging as vital
directors, that his ranking as the greatest Canadian director ever has
even had suitable competition for comparison.
I remembered when this came out, and I believe a critic from 'The Globe
and Mail' interviewed Cronenberg at its opening at Cannes, and he was
almost apologetic about using Pattinson. It sounded like he didn't want
to have to direct him. He made the excuse that he couldn't get funding
for his projects from North America anymore, which is a dirty rotten
shame, and had to go to Europe and Asia any time he wanted to make a
film in order to have it bankrolled, and the Japanese insisted on star
power to put moviegoers in the seats, and said there'd only be
financial backing if Cronenberg directed Pattinson. This was my first
experience watching the actor's work, and he did a fine job, no
problem. The supporting cast was strong, with many of my favourite
character actors of late, such as Paul Giamatti and Jay Baruchel. The
script, co-written by Cronenberg, was a strong statement about just how
out of touch the very rich are with the other 99% of us. I docked my
mark by 1/10 because I was pissed off that Cronenberg degraded one of
the finest actresses of our lifetime, Juliette Binoche here. I can't
even talk about it. It was as difficult for me to tolerate as Spike Lee
having Christopher Plummer call Jodie Foster something awful in the
otherwise excellent 'Inside Man'. Lee's off my Christmas card list for
sure this year, but Cronenberg being a fellow Canadian (I bet you
thought I was going to say white, hahaha), I'll be less angry. But he
better look over his shoulder if he tries something like THAT again. I
was THAT close to crossing HIM off my Christmas card list too...
I also remember from the time the film came out, an article and rating
on the film (I think it was 'The Globe and Mail' as well, and by the
same critic who had earlier interviewed him), saying that when he
watched it, he watched a few teenage girls leaving the theatre (most
probably because Pattinson was in it), saying it was the worst movie
they had ever seen. That's the only evidence you need that this is a
fine movie, well worth your time.
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