Fire, drugs, incest… And two angry ghosts.
Maps to the Stars is a tour into the heart of a Hollywood family chasing fame, one another, and the relentless ghosts of their pasts. The film is meant to be a kind of parody of Hollywood and it’s stars, and is really over the top. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be the way it turned out!
The film is a satire of contemporary Hollywood depicting a communal nervous breakdown in a town so enclosed and incestuous that everyone is part of the same symbolic sibling-hood of fear. This is one, big, unhappy dysfunctional family, in which guilty souls are afraid of failure and haunted by the return of the repressed.
Maps to the Stars and its dissection of celebrity culture is ultimately more shocking than entertaining. In fact, I sat staring at the screen with my mouth slightly open quite a lot during this movie. Mostly when Julianne Moore strutted around the screen, delivering probably the filthiest performance of her career.
The screenplay for This Is Where I Leave You has been adapted by novelist Jonathan Tropper from his eponymous, critically acclaimed novel. It follows the story of Judd Foxman (Jason Bateman), who is truly out of luck lately. He is heading towards divorce, out of work, and living in a basement apartment. As if that wasn’t enough, the demise of his father forces him right into the epicenter of his dysfunctional family. The late pater familias’ final request was that his closest relatives spend seven days in mourning together. Stuck in one house for a week, the situation quickly spirals out of control…