David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, reviewed.

February 27, 2015 1:23 AM

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David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, reviewed.

David Cronenberg has never, bless his chilly, serenely uncommercial soul, gone Hollywood. But with Maps to the Stars, he has at last gone to Hollywood. This ghoulish satire set in the world of show-business strivers marks the first time in the Canadian director’s 45-year career that he’s made a film in the United States, much less one in and about that factory of dreams called Tinseltown. A Nathanael West–style morality play about the corrosive powers of stardom (and its enabling correlative, fandom), Maps to the Stars was scripted by the novelist Bruce Wagner, who specializes in scabrously funny entertainment-industry exposés that only occasionally bother to change the names of the real-life celebrities who drift through their pages.

This screenwriter’s pitiless perspective on the vanity and greed of the famous, the once famous, and the would-be famous would seem to be a good match with this director’s clinical eye and sick sense of humor. But Maps to the Stars takes place in a world that’s so blankly amoral, so devoid of the mo...

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