Maps to the Stars  

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This film, actually more a Greek tragedy than a film, features the poem "Liberty", unwitting incest of brother and sister, six or seven deaths, Russian roulette, lots of pills (tranquilizers such as Klonopin, painkillers such as Vicodin), child actors, ghosts, Hollywood satire, music by Howard Shore and acid cynicism chilled by the occasional laugh. --Sholem Stein

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Maps to the Stars is a 2014 Canadian-American satirical drama film directed by David Cronenberg and starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, and Evan Bird. The screenplay was written by Bruce Wagner who later wrote a book, Dead Stars, based on the Maps to the Stars script after the plans for making the film with Cronenberg fell through the first time.

This is the second consecutive collaboration between Cronenberg and Robert Pattinson (after Cosmopolis) and marks the third collaboration between Cronenberg and Prospero Pictures, who previously collaborated on A Dangerous Method and Cosmopolis.

The film concerns the plight of two former child-stars, while commenting on the entertainment industry’s relationship with Western civilization as a whole.


Agatha (Mia Wasikowska) arrives in Los Angeles and employs limousine driver Jerome (Robert Pattinson) to take her to the site of the former house of Benjie Weiss (Evan Bird), a child star. Agatha has severe burns to her face and body, and is seen taking a multitude of medication. Benjie visits a child suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the hospital, however the girl later dies. Benjie’s father, Dr. Stafford Weiss is a TV psychologist who is treating aging actress Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore) for abuse she suffered at the hands of her deceased mother, also an actress. Havana’s agent struggles to get Havana a role in a remake of her mother’s film Stolen Waters.

Benjie and his mother, Cristina negotiates a role for Benjie in a film as his comeback after drug rehabilitation. At the suggestion of Carrie Fisher, Havana hires Agatha as a personal assistant, whom she met on Twitter. Agatha continues to see Jerome, and a romance forms, though Jerome appears resistant at first. Stafford learns through Havana that Agatha has returned to L.A, and it is revealed Agatha is their daughter – however they shun her completely, with Cristina breaking down at the thought of Agatha contacting Benjie.

Using Havana’s role in Stolen Waters to gain access to the production lot, Agatha visits Benjie on set and it is revealed she is schizophrenic, and that the burns she suffered were from a fire she lit in her parent’s house whilst they were asleep. She indicates she has returned from a sanatorium to make amends. When Stafford learns Agatha visited Benjie, he visits her in a rage and warns her to leave L.A.

Benjie breaks his sobriety, getting high on GHB, and accidentally shoots the dog of his only friend. Agatha visits her mother, Cristina to make amends. It is revealed that Cristina and Stafford are brother and sister, making Agatha and Benjie children of incest – though Cristina insists it was unbeknownst to them at the time. Stafford comes home, and when Agatha reveals she knows about their familial relations, Stafford violently beats her, until Cristina intervenes. During the altercation, Agatha steals Cristina’s wedding ring. On set, Benjie is haunted by the girl from the hospital, and during a hallucination he strangles his young co-star. The child survives, though Benjie is now to be replaced in the film.

Havana requests Jerome as a driver and seduces him in the driveway of her house, as Agatha watches from the window. Havana enters the house and berates Agatha for her poor performance at work. Enraged, Agatha beats Havana to death with one of her awards.

Stafford returns home to see Cristina on fire outside near the pool. Though not explicitly stated, it is suggested this is an act of self-immolation after the series of traumatic events leading to Cristina’s depressed state. Benjie and Agatha reunite and perform an impromptu wedding ceremony with their parent’s wedding rings. Together, they take an extreme amount of Agatha’s pills, before lying down to watch the stars.


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