David Valkenet’s review:
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.