Tonight Cosmopolis and Robert Pattinson took New York.
Fittingly, for an indie movie adapted from Don DeLillo’s book of the same name, this arthouse film noir that really deserves a wider release premiered at New York’s prestigious Museum of Modern Art.
Trailing critical buzz, the legend that is David Cronenberg, a stunning supporting cast and one of the most talked about, intriguing actors to hit Hollywood in a long time, Pattinson was Cool Hand Luke meets James Dean.
In a blue Gucci suit.
Appearing fresh after an earlier taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Pattinson's signing time with fans --- many of whom queued for hours outside the museum --- was brief due to security constraints. But the 26-year-old did manage to tell some fans, "thank you guys for being here."
The actor explained to Access Hollywood in an on-the-spot red carpet chat,
“Every time I’ve done [a premiere] in New York it’s pretty crazy, but there’s absolutely no way to sign anything. That’s the only problem.” [The actor did, in fact, get to sign for some fans at some point.]
Also joining Pattinson at the premiere tonight were co-stars, Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe winner Paul Giamatti, Sarah Gadon and Kevin Durand. Inside MoMa before the film's screening, Cronenberg said a few words before introducing the cast.
"It's exciting to bring Cosmopolis back to New York. It belongs here," Cronenberg told the audience.
Few would disagree.
Set in a gridlocked, imploding New York of Delillo's imagination, Pattinon plays Eric Packer, an impossibly successful, financier wunderkind who punts against the chinese yuan. In the process, Packer catastrophically losing his fortune, direction and faces his own mortality.
After playing to critics at the Cannes Film Festival in May, reception was divided. However the majority of critics hailed Pattinson's bloodless Packer --- a role once coveted by Colin Farrell -- his finest and most compelling performance to date.
In a slew of interviews pre-Cannes and since, Pattinson spoke of how terrified he was about taking on the complex, lead role. In May, the actor told Premiere magazine that before filming on Cosmopolis began he,
“[...] Spent time doubting myself. As soon as I read a script that I liked, I was working myself up, asking myself if I was good enough."
But it seems working with a director who believed in him and, more importantly, cultivated an approach to acting that was all about feeling rather than over-thinking --- worked wonders for the Brit.
"Filming Cosmopolis with David changed something in me," Pattinson told Premiere. "It gave me balls."
In a recent New York Times interview, Pattinson revealed why he worked so well with Cronenberg –-- a man whose filmography (Videodrome, Naked Lunch, Eastern Promises, A History of Violence, The Fly, Spider) groans with calibre.
“[When] you approach the character in a conventional way and try to figure out who he is, that becomes terrifying,” said Pattinson.“I kept trying to hold on to that element of not really understanding him. I think David liked the takes when I had literally no idea what I was doing.”
With countless critics lauding Pattinson’s performance as a watershed moment for an actor who, for many, is still best known as 'that Twilight guy,' a taste of some of the latest reviews for Cosmopolis should motivate any discerning movie goer to check out this very different but exceptional film.
From The Yorker.
“The casting of Pattinson as the quasi-psychopathic playboy may be a surprising move, but he delivers a magnetically credible performance, ”
“It would be easy to interpret him as a symbol of American capitalism, but Pattinson succeeds in bringing out the humanity of his character.”
Time Out Australia praises,
“a leering, disintegrating Pattinson, giving a commanding, sympathetic portrait of a man being consumed by his own vanity and power.”
Similarly Slant Magazine’s Budd Wilkins calledCosmopolis, “diamond-hard and dazzlingly brilliant.”
It seems Robert Pattinson does sparkle after all.
Cosmopolis opens in LA. And New York August 17 and further theaters from August 24. Adapted from Don DeLillo’s 2003 novel of the same name, Cosmopolis follows Eric Packer, a disaffected, billionaire financier on 24 wild hours as he crosses an imploding Manhattan in a white limo. Pursued by an anonymous assassin, a pie-provocateur and his own existential demons, Packer’s search for a haircut is really a search for meaning in a world that has none. Paul Giamatti, Juliet Binoche, Samantha Morton, Sarah Gadon, Morton, Mathieu Amalric, Emily Hampshire, Patricia McKenzie and Jay Baruchel also star. Distributed by Entertainment One Films.