COSMOPOLIS (director/writer: David Cronenberg; screenwriter: based on the novel by Don DeLillo; cinematographer: Peter Suschitzky; editor: Ronald Sanders; music: Howard Shore; cast: Robert Pattinson (Eric Packer), Juliette Binoche (Didi Fancher), Sarah Gadon (Elise Schifrin), Mathieu Amalric (Andre Petrescu), Jay Baruchel (Shiner), Kevin Durand (Torval), K’Naan (Brutha Fez), Emily Hampshire (Jane Melman), Samantha Morton (Vija Kinsky), Paul Giamatti (Richard Sheets/Benno Levin), George Touliatos (Anthony), Bob Bainborough (Dr. Ingram); Runtime: 108; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Paulo Branco/Martin Katz; Entertainment One; 2012)

"Its major problem is that it's not cinematic."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz 

David Cronenberg  ("eXistenZ"/"Spider"/"Crash") directs and writes this futuristic challenging, paranoid, claustrophobic, psychological mind-bender about the ills of capitalism. It's based on Don DeLillo’s not too well received 2003 novel. The chatty, doleful and provocative film unfolds over a single day in Manhattan. Its major problem is that it's not cinematic, but more a film about ideas.

In the near future, Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) sits atop the world at 28 as an unfeeling financial whiz-kid billionaire asset manager, who from his luxury stretch limo aims to go crosstown in Manhattan to get a haircut from his late father's old barber (George Touliatos) but finds even his well-equipped chauffeur-driven limo can't block out the world and his ride becomes a dangerous one because of the hellish condition his ruthless capitalism has created for the world. There is one incident after another that includes a riot from the 99 percent Occupy Wall Street crowd, and also includes a wide assortment of visitors to his limo who offer their life philosophy, sex and eccentric views of modern life. The most unsettling visit is from a doctor (Bob Bainborough) giving prostrate exams in the limo. The reptilian-like Erik has put all his fund assets against the Chinese Yuan, and is losing big time as he's more tuned into his wager than the world around him.

Torval (Kevin Durand) is Eric's head of security, Shiner (Jay Baruchel) is the geek chief of staff, Jane Melman (Emily Hampshire) is his money adviser, his mistress is Didi Fancher (Juliette Binoche), Elise (Sarah Gadon) is his frigid wife, Vija Kinsky (Samantha Morton) is a vice president of “theory,” Andre (Mathieu Amalric) is a pie-throwing terrorist and Paul Giamatti plays a revengeful disgruntled former employee.

It's an intellectual trip lacking drama or much intellect, but is on target about depicting world events as sinister and if you don't mind the bumpy ride or that it's best viewed as a time-capsule film covering today's economic meltdown and a close-up look at the sad inhuman belief many erroneously hold onto that the soulless corporations are people.

REVIEWED ON 9/22/2012       GRADE: B

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"