The stylised nature of the language will limit this film's appeal, and its self-conscious craziness might also be testing to some (why does the professional barber Eric finally visits cut huge steps in his hair?). And after Water For Elephants it remains to be seen whether Pattinson's teen following really is willing to follow him anywhere. But Cosmopolis does prove that he has the chops, and he parlays his cult persona beautifully into the spoiled, demanding Packer, a man so controlling and ruthless that only he has the power to ruin himself. Lean and spiky – with his clean white shirt he resembles a groomed Sid Vicious – Pattinson nails a difficult part almost perfectly, recalling those great words of advice from West Side Story: You wanna live in this crazy world? Play it cool.
Like The Social Network, it combines a credible depiction of a person whose age and intellect are dangerously off kilter, while sending its “hero” on an anti-capitalist nightmare odyssey that discharges all the dry cynicism and insouciant doomsaying of Godard’s Week End.
Very neatly abridged by Cronenberg himself from the 2003 novel by American postmodernist writer, Don DeLillo, his screenplay filets out much of the dialogue from the source while expunging the flashbacks, dreams and internal monologues. Robert Pattinson is magnetic as Eric Packer, slick, jaded 26-year-old CEO of Packer Capital who decides to take a fleet of Limousines across across New York City in search of a haircut. This is his best performance to date by some considerable margin. Yes, even better than Remember Me.