First Hit: I’m sure I’ll be in the minority on this – and I liked this film. It was quirky, yet insightful in the David Cronenberg style.
Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore) is a fading from view movie star who is trying to get the part of her famous deceased movie star mother in an upcoming film. She really wants the part.
The film shows her desperation of want and her pretending to not be attached to getting the role. Agatha Weiss (Mia Wasikowska) is an intelligent, scarred and somewhat twisted girl. We see her abnormal behavior unfold as the film evolves. She becomes Havana's assistant and has an edge that keeps the audience on wondering. Dr. Stafford Weiss (John Cusack) is a Hollywood based spiritual and physical energy therapist to the stars.
His wife Christina (Olivia Williams) and he are driving their son Benjie (Evan Bird) to be an ego filled young actor. There is a controlling power in their house and when Agatha shows up again, all hell breaks loose. Keeping Agatha’s attention was limo driver Jerome Fontana (Robert Pattinson), until her real wish is known.
The fun part of this film is the moving from one type of ego expression to another and in Hollywood it all stands out strong.
Moore is great as the fading star who wants to stay in the limelight. Wasikowska is fantastic as the strangely possessed young woman. Cusack is perfect as the ego driven guru believing his own self-awareness. Williams is great as the mother/wife walking a tightrope. Bird as the ego possessed young man who is getting more than he deserves is very good – believable. Pattinson is really good as the limo driver who pretends non-interest and then interest in Agatha. Bruce Wagner wrote and interesting, complex screenplay that, for me, worked. Cronenberg definitely had his vision and although it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, for me it worked well.
Overall: I found this film interesting and fun to watch these characters go through their ego struggles.