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Maps to the Stars

"Veteran Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg continues to push the boundaries more than most. In this ultra-dark satire about twisted Hollywood values, strong language, explicit bedroom scenes, pill-popping and abuse themes combine to create a heady cocktail of issues. This is a disturbing account of the consequences – rather than the act – of incest, all set in Tinseltown where the need to serve a camera won’t let anyone escape their past.

"Modern great Julianne Moore, 53, delivers a shockingly-brave performance as the ageing grand dynasty actress Havana Segrand. In order to cope with fading looks and a near-desperation to remake one of her mother’s movies, she relies on self-help guru Dr Stafford Weiss (John Cusack, eyeliner and all). He’s married to troubled Christina and they have a brat of a teenage film star son who has already been in rehab. The mysteriously scarred Agatha (Mia Wasikowska) will soon challenge everyone’s eggshell fragility.

"This is really a two-hander for the headline girls. Wasikowska is brilliantly off-the-wall as the manipulative outsider, while Moore, haunted by her mother’s ghost, is in constant danger of imploding.

"With none of the characters happy at work, Cronenberg turns the screw on all of them at home in a brazenly unhinged, classy psychological horror thriller." - Graham Young

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