note to critics: cronenberg isn't cronenberg any more

Skimming through some reviews of Maps to the Stars, it's exhausting watching reviewers such as the AV Club's A. A. Dowd as they attempt to weave in references to David Cronenberg's early movies to explain Maps as a "Cronenberg film." Cronenberg has said in interviews that he no longer makes Cronenberg films (such as They Came from Within, Scanners, or Videodrome). Mostly what he has done since the late '80s is adapt writers for the screen. ExistenZ was a brief return to form but even it was almost self-parody.
Auteur-theory-wise, Maps is a Bruce Wagner movie, just as Eastern Promises was a Steven Knight movie and A History of Violence was a John Wagner movie. In each case Cronenberg provides a set of eyes and hands to implement the writers' visions. There is a clean, chilly style but very little authorial mind at work on the director's side. Casting, framing of shots, and working with actors is functional, at best. Workmanlike. The spark lies in the spoken dialogue, the story construction, and individual actors' performances: how the actors respond to Wagner's material.