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.
Little White Lies
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.
The dialogue is rapid-fire, so much so that it leaves bullet holes. And as Eric goes across town in his ridiculous car -- with the world coming to him in the form of business meetings, sexual liaisons and even doctor's appointments in the back of the limo -- we realize that Eric is the epitome of modern capitalism. The titans who make our world are small, broken people. And, interestingly enough, if you're casting for a dead-eyed shark wreathed in unearned privilege, Pattinson turns out to be a pretty good choice.
The Film Stage
In David Cronenberg’s adaptation of Cosmopolis, a novel by post modern author Don DeLillo, the Canadian filmmaker tackles a dense criticism of capitalism, greed and class. Featuring an ensemble cast built on quick cameos, the film is anchored by a solid, ennui-filled performance by Robert Pattinson, shedding his Twilight skin for something more substantive and reminiscent of Christian Bale in American Pyscho.
Time Out London
That said, there's a consistent air of charged, end-of-days menace running through the film, which Cronenberg handles with an unbroken sense of precision and confidence. He's well-served, too, by a leering, disintegrating Pattinson, giving a commanding, sympathetic portrait of a man being consumed by his own vanity and power.
Bankable Twilight saga star Robert Pattinson is fine in the main part: if his Eric Packer is a little cold, a touch robotic, then so is Cronenberg’s unapologetically stylised approach to the story; this was never going to be a role that called for big emotions.
Give David Cronenberg credit for one thing: His choice to cast Robert Pattinson was an inspired and brilliant decision. While Cosmopolis is a bit too one-note to allow any proclamations about Pattinson's range, his opaque, handsome, sometimes robot-like face compliments Cronenberg's themes and styles perfectly. In terms of what the director seems to be aiming for here, his cold performance is nearly flawless.
Sure to split the critics here in Cannes, it sees Robert Pattinson take on the boldest role of his career as a bored multi-billionaire riding a limousine through Manhattan to get a haircut. Confined to mostly the inside of the soundproof limo, Cosmopolis feels like more like black-box theatre than cinema as a series of characters deliver dense, difficult monologues that seem to mean everything and nothing.
It was a smart choice to cast Pattinson, whose blankness seems channeled for nihilistic sarcasm as he screws Juliette Binoche, listens to Samantha Morton talk time and money and takes a pie in the face from Mathieu Amalric.
While commercial reach will be limited to the more adventurous end of the specialty market, Robert Pattinson's excellent performance reps an indispensable asset.
In presenting such a close-up view of Eric's inner sanctum, the film invites the viewer's scorn and fascination simultaneously; to that end, the helmer has an ideal collaborator in Pattinson, whose callow yet charismatic features take on a seductively reptilian quality here. It's the actor's strongest screen performance and certainly his most substantial.
But the film’s true driving force (excuse the pun) is Pattinson’s utterly fearless, audacious and sizzling performance. Both Twilight stars have now had films here in Cannes and both Kristen Stewart and Pattinson have given some of the festival’s strongest roles. Packer is a multi-layered, cynical, and chillingly captivating character; he’s a gritty brush-stroke of our modern day society, a itching rash that demands attending to. The world in which Packer resides in is one of disgusting wealth and luxury yet crippling doubt, paranoia, and self-loathing. Pattinson’s darkly comic and distressingly real performance here embodies everything Cosmopolis desires to express; he whispers and scuttles but his manners and aura leave a deafening echo hanging in the tainted, dystopian atmosphere.
At its heart is a sensational central performance from Robert Pattinson – yes, that 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.