David Croenberg is the coldest director I know. He is practically a one man ice age of mood. What makes it such an oddity is that he tends to pair this detachment with the kinkiest sex you'll generally see in a main stream film. I understand he's happily married and I sometimes wonder about the at home conversations in the Croenberg home. "Oh not much happened today, we finished filming the scar sex scene and I got that ice cream you like dear."
"Cosmopolis" is a perfect example of Croenberg at his finest. It's about a man, an absurdly rich man, travelling around New York in his stretch limo. In a sense he's travelling through the city on a dark and gritty day, but he's seeing it through the filter of bullet proof windows and air conditioning. What happens out there shouldn't be able to touch him at all. This is true at the beginning at least as he goes on a mission for a hair cut. As the day goes on though the chaos begins to bleed through, and perhaps not against this man's will.
As he travels his fortunes fall, his postion becomes unstable. His very life is at risk. However, he seems to want this. He's tired and worn and yet so very young. He wants to feel something, anything even failure. It is this self destructive desire that fuels the film.
It's certainly not for everyone. The dialog is often at best cryptic. The images are often disturbing. Watching him being given a prostate exam as he grills a female worker is .... awkward at best? Dialog over making rats a unit of currency are funny, but off putting. This is like one of those modern compositins where the music is all in minor notes and almost off key. One is never at ease while watching this.
As I said, classic Croenberg.