David Cronenberg’s latest film Maps to the Stars, starring Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, John Cusack and Mia Wasikowska, received a decent amount of acclaim when it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this summer, with Moore being honored as Best Actress. Normally, that would give Moore a nice headstart in the Oscar race for a possible fifth nomination. The film’s upcoming premieres in Cronenberg’s hometown at the Toronto International Film Festival next week and at the New York Film Festival later this month seemed to solidify that.
It’s now been announced that Focus World has picked up the U.S. distribution rights to the movie, financed by Entertainment One and Prospero Pictures, with plans to release it in 2015, which means that Moore is likely out of the Oscar race, at least for this year.
Written by Bruce Wagner, Cronenberg’s film is a contemporary tale exploring the demons of celebrity obsession in our society. John Cusack plays L.A. psychotherapist and life coach Stafford Weiss who has made his fortune with self-help books promising happiness. His wife Cristina (Olivia Williams) is the overbearing manager of their 13-year-old son, Benjie (Evan Bird), a TV star and recent drug rehab grad. Their estranged daughter, Agatha (Wasikowska), has just been released from a psychiatric hospital and befriends limo driver and aspiring actor Jerome (Pattinson). Among Staffords celebrity clients is Havana Segrand (Moore), a fading star who dreams of reprising her late mother Clarices (Sarah Gadon) starring role. Ambitions, ghosts, death, and all manner of vices bedevil the cast of characters.
Following Cronenberg’s 2012 film Cosmopolis, which also starred Robert Pattinson, it’s not clear what Focus World’s distribution plans are. They are known for being the alternative distribution initiative operated by Focus Features, and they often release many of their films On Demand with a minimal theatrical release. This doesn’t mean that this is the plan with Maps to the Stars, and they may even try to give it a nominal Oscar qualification release in New York and Los Angeles before year’s end. eOne Films will handle the worldwide release of the movie in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.