Cosmopolis

With characteristic stilted menace, David Cronenberg directs his own adaptation of Don DeLillo’s 2003 novel, an unfortunately uncinematic cavalcade of actors seeking a challenge and getting let down. Most prominent among these is “Twilight” heartthrob Robert Pattinson as the detached billionaire financier, chauffeured through a variously beleaguered Manhattan for a haircut and a date with destiny. It’s only mildly amusing that Pattinson’s best moments suggest a vampire staring out of his coffin. Also among the squandered are Jay Baruchel, Juliette Binoche, Mathieu Amalric, Samantha Morton, and Paul Giamatti. DeLillo’s macho-cerebral dialogue — at once urgent and self-suffocating — feels wrong for any film, especially one so deliberately impeded as this. In Cronenberg’s prosaic display, the eerie quietude of a soundproof stretch limo only begets boredom. “Halfway clever but mostly shallow,” in one non-character’s phrase, and ultimately a mannered treatise on the death throes of capitalism, it does at least achieve a certain uniformity of inner deadness.

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