This month, David Cronenberg — master of movies that make you go "Whuuh?" — releases Maps to the Stars, a film that follows some incredibly messed up folks who live and work in Hollywood. Even if you're not normally into the director's brand of creepiness, it's hard to resist the allure of watching Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, and John Cusack playing, well, their own kind.
Turning a gimlet eye on Hollywood is one of moviemakers' favorite things to do. The industry has long been churning out cautionary tales about the price of fame and the dangerous town where nothing is more valuable — just look at A Star Is Born or The Bling Ring. And, why not? Screenwriters write what they know, and you can't find an easier set than an actual studio lot.
Sure, there are plenty of movies that celebrate the glamour of the business (Singing in the Rain, The Artist). But, we already know it's a town full of beautiful people being beautiful. It's nice to get a glimpse of the dark underbelly that proves Tinseltown is nothing more than a fictional facade. Cleanse your palate from the glitz of awards season and watch these movies to remind yourself why you might want to stay safely on this side of the silver screen.