Sure, just like everyone else in the world, Maps to the Stars did indeed make me think about Mulholland Drive. In particular, it made me think just how much I wish I were watching Mulholland Drive instead.
I swear, for all Cronenberg’s auteurism, he flat out forgets to direct the actors, time and time again; they always seem to be set in neutral, announcing their personality traits and current emotions to one another without any subtlety beyond the pure monotony of their timbre.
It interests me that, aside from the desperately obvious “Hey, has anyone noticed how Hollywood kinda runs on psychopathy? Maybe there’s a movie in it” narrative cliché, the other two connections that I made throughout were Savage Grace and Stoker, reasonable connections to make as they stared Julianne Moore and Mia Wasikowska respectively, were both about incest and murder, both with performances one would generously describe as “laconic,” and were both duller than ditchwater.
Sure, most of the actors are perfectly fine, some are actually very good, but they are constantly let down by a painfully unimaginative script and are left totally at sea by Cronenberg’s complete absence of direction.