Writer Bruce Wagner’s script for David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” is of a piece with his other work. It blends a cynical vision of people with an even darker examination of the worship of the superficial that is Hollywood life.
But instead of the kind of roiling tale of corruption of the soul that Nathanael West wrought in “The Day of the Locust,” Wagner’s vision feels sour and whiny. His characters lead superficial lives – and their efforts to excavate more from their existence always feel doomed before they start. It’s less Nathanael West than Bret Easton Ellis, not a comparison anyone should strive for. (More…)