Cosmopolis (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Cronenberg
Screenplay byDavid Cronenberg
Based onCosmopolis
by Don DeLillo
Produced by
CinematographyPeter Suschitzky
Edited byRonald Sanders
Music byHoward Shore
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 25 May 2012 (2012-05-25) (Cannes and Italy)
  • 31 May 2012 (2012-05-31) (Portugal)
  • 8 June 2012 (2012-06-08) (Canada)
Running time
109 minutes[5]
Budget$20.5 million[6]
Box office$7.1 million[7]

Cosmopolis is a 2012 drama film written, produced, and directed by David Cronenberg. It stars Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti, Samantha Morton, Sarah Gadon, Mathieu Amalric, Juliette Binoche, Jay Baruchel and Kevin Durand. It is based on Don DeLillo's 2003 novel.

On 25 May 2012, the film premiered in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[8] The film was released in Canada on 8 June 2012,[9] and began a limited release in the United States on 17 August 2012 by eOne Films.[10] It is Cronenberg's first script since eXistenZ in 1999. It received polarizing reviews on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic and performed poorly at the box office.


Twenty-eight-year-old billionaire and currency speculator Eric Packer rides slowly across Manhattan amid traffic jams, in his state-of-the-art luxury stretch limousine office, to his preferred barber. Various visitors discuss the meaning of life and inconsequential trivia. The traffic jams are caused by a visit of the President of the United States and the funeral of Eric's favorite musician, a rap artist whose music he plays in one of his two private elevators. Despite devastating currency speculation losses over the course of the day, Packer fantasizes about buying the Rothko Chapel.

He meets his wife, Elise, in her taxi, for coffee, in a bookstore, as well as outside a theater. She declines sex with him. Packer has sex with two other women. When a day of poor trading destroys a large part of his wealth, his wife takes this as a reason to dissolve their union.

Anti-capitalist activists demonstrate on the street. They wave rats and declare, "A spectre is haunting the world: the spectre of capitalism". They spray-paint Packer's limo and later subject him to a pieing. Packer learns that an assassin has targeted him but seems uninterested in who the person might be.

In Eric's car, his doctor performs his daily medical checkup. Eric worries about the doctor's finding that he has an asymmetrical prostate. As the currency speculation wipes out most of his fortune, Eric's world begins to disintegrate. Eventually he kills his bodyguard. At the destination, the barber, who knew his father, cuts Eric's hair on one side. The barber and limo driver discuss their respective careers driving cabs. The barber gives Eric his gun because he threw away the bodyguard's.

Eric follows a path of further self-destruction, visiting his potential murderer, former employee Richard Sheets, a.k.a. Benno Levin. Eric seems ready to commit suicide, but instead deliberately shoots himself in the hand. Sheets, who feels adrift in the capitalist system, explains that Eric's mistake in speculating was looking for perfect symmetry and patterns in the currency market: he should have looked for the lopsided—his body with its asymmetrical prostate was telling him this. As Sheets points the gun to Eric's head, Eric seems to have overcome his fear of death as he waits for Sheets to pull the trigger. Eric's fate is left unknown.



News about a film adaptation of Cosmopolis first emerged on 10 February 2009. Screen Daily called it Paulo Branco's "most ambitious project to date" and estimated the budget at $10m–12 million.[11] On 26 July 2009, David Cronenberg was announced as the director.[relevant?] The film was scheduled to begin filming in 2010, produced by Branco's production house Alfama Films and Cronenberg's Toronto Antenna Ltd.[12] Branco said Cronenberg had written the screenplay and had moved on to casting in September 2009.[13] On 13 January 2010, Cronenberg said he was still committed to the film but had not started production.[14] Principal photography took place in Toronto and was completed in July 2011. Colin Farrell was initially cast in the main role but left due to scheduling difficulties with Total Recall.[15] He was later replaced by Pattinson. Marion Cotillard was involved in the project but also left because of scheduling conflicts.[16]


The soundtrack reunited composer Howard Shore and the Canadian indie rock band Metric who had previously collaborated on a song for Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack (which had also starred Robert Pattinson). While writing the score for Cosmopolis, Shore desired a particular live sound and invited Metric to perform the score and co-write three songs. The music was recorded in November 2011 at the band's own Giant Studios in Toronto, produced by Shore and Metric guitarist Jimmy Shaw and mixed by John O'Mahony at Liberty Studios in Toronto and Electric Lady Studios in New York City. The Cosmopolis soundtrack also features "Mecca" by Somali-Canadian singer/rapper K'naan with lyrics by K'naan and Don DeLillo.[17] Film Music Magazine's Daniel Schweiger praised the soundtrack as "an environment of hallucinatory beauty. There's a real intelligence to the rock-alt. material here that goes beyond many indie star-composer collaborations."[18] It was released on 4 June 2012. AllMusic rated it 4 out 5 stars.[19]


The soundtrack album features four songs.[20] James Christopher Monger of lauded Emily Haines for her "strong vocal performances on the ghostly "Long to Live" and "Call Me Home," switching to a full-on banshee wail for the pulsating "I Don't Want to Wake Up"" and wrote that the score was "one of the most engaging soundtracks of the year."[21] "Long to Live" won Achievement in Music: Original Song at the 1st Canadian Screen Awards.[22][23]

# Song/artist Writer Length
1 "Long to Live" by Metric Emily Haines, James Shaw and Howard Shore 4:26
2 "I Don't Want to Wake Up" by Metric Emily Haines, James Shaw and Howard Shore 4:14
3 "Mecca" by K'naan Don DeLillo and K'naan 2:55
4 "Call Me Home" by Metric Emily Haines, James Shaw and Howard Shore 2:36


David Cronenberg, Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche promoting the film at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival

Rotten Tomatoes reports that 67% of 189 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 6.10/10. The consensus says, "Though some may find it cold and didactic, Cosmopolis benefits from David Cronenberg's precise direction, resulting in a psychologically complex adaptation of Don DeLillo's novel."[24] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 58 out of 100 based on 35 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[25]

Justin Chang of Variety wrote: "An eerily precise match of filmmaker and material, Cosmopolis probes the soullessness of the 1% with the cinematic equivalent of latex gloves. ... Pattinson's excellent performance reps an indispensable asset."[26] Robbie Collin of The Telegraph gave the film four stars out of five, stating, "It's a smart inversion of Cronenberg's 1999 film eXistenZ: rather than being umbilically connected to a virtual world, Packer is hermetically sealed off from the real one. At its heart is a sensational central performance from Robert Pattinson as Packer. Pattinson plays him like a human caldera; stony on the surface, with volcanic chambers of nervous energy and self-loathing churning deep below."[27] Ross Miller of Thoughts On Film also gave the film four out of five stars stating that, "If, like me, you're in-tune with the tone, style and direction of the film then it provides for a fascinating and intellectually nourishing experience."[28] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly stated, "Cosmopolis includes its own version of the Occupy hordes: scruffy, vengeful protesters who run around the streets, and into restaurants, brandishing the bodies of dead rats. ... Pattinson, pale and predatory even without his pasty-white vampire makeup, delivers his frigid pensées with rhythmic confidence."[29] A very positive review came from The London Film Review, which said "The fact is, Cronenberg made a movie for YOU. The 99%. A movie that reflects, comments on[,] satirizes and parodies our time."[30]

However, Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter criticized the film, writing, "Lifeless, stagey and lacking a palpable subversive pulse despite the ready opportunities offered by the material, this stillborn adaptation of Don DeLillo's novel initially will attract some Robert Pattinson fans but will be widely met with audience indifference."[31]

Cahiers du Cinéma named it the year's second-best title, while Sight & Sound listed it as the eighth-best film of 2012.[32][33] Keith Uhlich of Time Out New York named Cosmopolis the tenth-best film of 2012.[34]

Film critic Amy Taubin named Cosmopolis one of her ten favorite films of all time when she participated in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics' poll.[35]


Year Award Category Recipient Result
2012 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or David Cronenberg Nominated[36]
World Soundtrack Academy Soundtrack Composer of the Year Howard Shore Nominated
2013 Canadian Screen Awards Adapted Screenplay David Cronenberg Nominated
Achievement in Music: Original Score Howard Shore Won
Achievement in Music: Original Song Emily Haines, James Shaw and Howard Shore, "Long to Live" Won
Online Film Critics Society Best Adapted Screenplay David Cronenberg Nominated[37]
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Best Film – Canadian Nominated[38]
Best Director – Canadian Film David Cronenberg Nominated[38]
Best Actor in a Canadian Film Robert Pattinson Nominated[38]
Best Supporting Actress in a Canadian Film Samantha Morton Nominated[38]
Sarah Gadon Won[39]
Saturn Award Best DVD/Blu-ray Release Nominated[40]


  1. ^ a b "Cosmopolis". Lumiere. Retrieved 18 July 2023.
  2. ^ Alex Hudson (15 May 2012). "Metric and K'naan's Contributions to David Cronenberg's 'Cosmopolis' Soundtrack Revealed". Ian Danzig. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  3. ^ Cosmopolis by Howard Shore Metric Benno, Sound track geek, May 2012, archived from the original (JPEG) on 28 December 2013, retrieved 3 June 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d "Cosmopolis". Library and Archives Canada. 25 November 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2023.
  5. ^ "COSMOPOLIS (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Cosmopolis (2012)". Movieinsider. June 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Cosmopolis (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  8. ^ "2012 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  9. ^ Wilner, Norman (7–14 June 2012). "Cosmopolis". Now. Vol. 31, no. 41. Toronto. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  10. ^ Adam Chitwood (7 June 2012). "Cosmopolis, Playing The Field and The Words Release Dates". Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  11. ^ Macnab, Geoffrey, Paolo Branco plots Cosmopolis, Screen Daily.
  12. ^ "Director David Cronenberg takes on 'Cosmopolis'". News. Canada: Yahoo!. 26 July 2009. Archived from the original on 30 July 2009.
  13. ^ Macnab, Geoffrey, Lawrence 'Larry' Clark to direct trouble teen drama: wild child, Screen Daily.
  14. ^ Ahearn, Victoria (13 January 2010). "David Cronenberg wants Keira Knightley for Freud-Jung drama 'The Talking Cure'". The Canadian Press. 680 News. Retrieved 5 July 2012.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Hubschman, Daniel (6 January 2011). "Robert Pattinson Replaces Colin Farrell In Cronenberg's 'Cosmopolis'". Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  16. ^ Ward, Kate (20 January 2011). "Marion Cotillard out of David Cronenberg's 'Cosmopolis'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  17. ^ Carrie Battan (13 October 2011). "Metric Score David Cronenberg's Don DeLillo Adaptation Cosmopolis". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  18. ^ Daniel Schweiger (25 June 2012). "June Soundtrack Picks". Film Music Magazine. Global Media Online, Inc. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  19. ^ "Cosmopolis [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  20. ^ "Cosmopolis". Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  21. ^ Cosmopolis original motion picture soundtrack, All music.
  22. ^ "Seven SOCAN members win in 1st Canadian Screen Awards". Archived from the original on 23 May 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  23. ^ "Canadian Screen Awards winners: Rebelle cleans up movie awards, Flashpoint tops in TV drama". The Star. Toronto. 3 March 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  24. ^ Cosmopolis (2012), Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 3 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Cosmopolis". Metacritic.
  26. ^ Chang, Justin (25 May 2012), "Cosmopolis" (review), Variety, retrieved 29 May 2012.
  27. ^ Collin, Robbie (26 May 2012), "Cannes 2012: Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis" (review), The Telegraph, London, retrieved 29 May 2012.
  28. ^ Miller, Ross (14 June 2012), Cosmopolis movie (review), Thoughts on Film, retrieved 26 August 2012.
  29. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (25 May 2012), "Cannes: Robert Pattinson plays a lethal finance bad boy in David Cronenberg's 'Cosmopolis.' Plus, a Palme d'Or conspiracy theory", Entertainment Weekly, retrieved 26 October 2019.
  30. ^ "Re-review: Cosmopolis". Archived from the original on 28 August 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  31. ^ McCarthy, Todd (25 May 2012), "Cosmopolis, Robert Pattinson, Cannes" (review), The Hollywood Reporter, retrieved 29 May 2012.
  32. ^ "Top Ten 2012, Décembre 2012 n°684". Cahiers du cinéma.
  33. ^ "'The Master' named 2012's best in Sight & Sound critics' poll". Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  34. ^ Uhlich, Keith (13 December 2012). "Keith Uhlich's Ten Best Movies of 2012". Time Out New York. Archived from the original on 19 December 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  35. ^ "Amy Taubin". The British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  36. ^ Shoard, Catherine (27 May 2012). "Cannes 2012: Michael Haneke wins second Palme d'Or for Amour". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  37. ^ "2012 Awards (16th Annual)". 24 December 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  38. ^ a b c d "2013 VFCC Nominees Announced!". 28 December 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  39. ^ "'Zero Dark Thirty' wins big with Vancouver critics". Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  40. ^ "2013 Saturn Award Nominees". Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.

External links[edit]