Confession time. I saw Twilight 1 and Twilight 2 years ago, and I really liked Twilight 1. Robert Patterson was pretty good, and the first two-thirds of the movie was a very hypnotic and mystical experience. The final act fell short of the first two acts, but whatever. I also liked Water for Elephants. But it wasn’t until Cosmopolis that I really appreciated who Robert Patterson seems to be. Considered “beautiful” by many young woman and paid out the ass for his Twilight films, he has been propelled to the top of the world extremely fast at such a young age. This creates a sense of isolation among his peers that distances him and his emotions and this is the perfect reason he was the perfect choice for Cosmopolis; The story about a billionaire driving around in his limousine and having disconnected conversations with people while he insanely weaves his own self-destruction under the guise of progress. The simple version of the plot is, “A billionaire goes across town for a haircut”.
Cosmopolis wraps every scene in words upon words, unrelated to what their bodies are actually saying. A cold grey dance. Patterson has the poker face of the millennium, with sly, twisted sparks of foreign emotions flittering out of the corners of his face at unexpected moments. Even when I didn’t understand what they were saying I couldn’t look away. Partially because of the strange flat lighting of the first half of the film, but also due to the shock that a simple pie to the face causes in the story. Surreal. This movie was just that. Surreal. Eventually this all culminates in a scene that could rightfully be called the purpose of the film (but would lack the weight without all the previous scenes). The lighting changes to strange greens and warm yellows at angles that beg for the scene to stray a little longer, followed by my new favorite performance by Paul Giamatti.
But I warn you… this movie is tough. You watch it alone and only alone. Not with your loved ones or friends. Not because it is foul or isn’t foul, but because it requires all of your thought. There’s a point where Patterson’s character is having sex (I’m careful not to use the words “Make love” for a reason) and the woman shows off her taser. He tells her to hit him with it so he can experience it.
That really makes the statement on if you should watch Cosmopolis or not…. Do you want to experience it? This is not a movie about likeable people, but it is executed flawlessly.
– Johnny Townsend