Holy Motors 2012 ★★★★

The problem with Holy Motors is that it is in limbo. There is not enough straight up character and plot to get invested emotionally and there's too much ambiguity in its symbolism to follow it intellectually.

Perhaps it is equivocal by design, but that doesn't excuse the film for not making me care to ponder its meaning. I found there precious little to hold on to throughout the film in terms of thematic resonance. The only juxtaposition I could gather some meaning from was the second and third vignette. Seeing the motion capture images so clearly contrasted against that final image in the third appointment, a naked aroused man laying with his head in the lap of a model - clearly trying to emulate a great impressionist painting, I could only imagine Carax is trying to say something about the progression of art and how technology is impacting art.
Just what he is trying to say, don't ask me.

The film is punctuated by moments of sheer joy and pleasure, and comedic beats and features perhaps the stand out scene of the year so far (the interlude), but for its 2 hour running time these moments are too few. At the start of the film I really enjoyed seeing where it would go next and what Mr Oscar's next appointment would entail, but by the time we get to Kylie Minogue I was ready for it to end.

I think Werner Herzog and I are in agreement, I don't really like this artsy fartsy nonsense. I like the real stuff.

NB: I just reread my review and think I may have been a little harsh on it. I was into the film for the first 3/4 then became a little restless. Once I left the cinema I found myself uninterested in contemplating its themes. Yet I do want to watch it again. Forgive this terrible rambling review.

12 Comments

  • Oh, I didn't quite know where to put this in the review so I'll put it here: The poster is insanely fucking cool.

  • The poster made me totally interested in this movie.
    The trailer made me totally uninterested in this movie.

  • Can't freaking wait to see this. Love the poster and loved some of the images that came out from Cannes, just hope it gets here at some point.

  • I love artsy fartsy nonsense. #1 film of 2012, callin' it right now.

  • Jeff - I'd say the trailer is a better indication of the film than the poster.

    Len - As you can tell by my star rating I did actually really like the movie. I feel like my review may read a little more negatively than I had intended. If you liked the images you saw and are a fan of slow moving films you will most likely enjoy this.

  • Yeah, your star rating does seem to contradict the review a bit, but that kind of thing can happen, particularly with this type of movie.

    Honestly this film sounds like it was made for me. Can't wait.

  • Tony - I loved the fartsy, it's just the artsy I'm not on board with.

  • Something weird is going on with me tonight. By talking about all the things I didn't like about this movie I have actually talked myself into liking it more and more. Like I mentioned in the review, it does have my favorite scene of the year so far. Even better than the first Batman v Bane fight (though it's a little hard to compare them).
    I think now my main problem is the length. Towards the end I was really feeling the run time.

  • Oh another thing I liked that I couldn't fit in to he review (because it is basically the most insubstantial observation ever): I just love the way the title looks. Not the font (though that's pretty cool) just the way the letters combine and form the words. HOLY MOTORS. It's curvy, it's straight. It's damn sexy, if you ask me.

  • They fucking changed the poster. Poor form, Letterboxd, poor form.

  • Boooooooooooo!!!!!!!

  • What the hell? I assume it was someone who changed it on TMDB? I am not amused...

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