Sunday, 28 September 2014

Navigating by stars

David Cronenberg is not known for his frothy romcoms, so I was not expecting to 'enjoy' Maps to the Stars. I was correct. This is a dark movie about not just Hollywood's 'underbelly' but the desperation between its toes and under its fingernails... This is a gripping and tragic film that will draw you inexorably into its sticky and glutinous morality.

The acting is steely, cold and understated: delivering performances that will chill and greatly impress you for their naked honesty. If you want to see how ambition, arrogance and greed can corrupt people, this is the film for you. And be impressed by the make-up too: it cannot be easy to make someone look like they are not wearing make up quite so well. This is a film strictly for hacks & fans, I would say. And which probably explains why there were only a dozen people in the cinema watching it on a Friday night. Nonetheless it is a film to see.


A central theme of this film is about saying sorry and seeking forgiveness and thence capacity of the wronged people to be able and willing to forgive. It is not easy doing either, as the film so graphically shows.

I saw a poll the other day which listed the qualities of politicians that people respect the most (and dislike the most). High on the list, if not at the top from my recollection, was the capacity and willingness to apologise.  I think we expect the same of any leader. We all make mistakes and leaders are no different. The mark of an excellent leader is one who can truly say sorry (something I have blogged about before) when the need arises.

How good are you at saying sorry?

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This is the fifty third of my 2014 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I am doing this. Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

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