The greatest films of all time as voted on by the Criterion subreddit using a ranked top 10 methodology from…
From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of a mystic man named Monsieur Oscar.
We follow 24 hours in the life of a being moving from life to life like a cold and solitary assassin moving from hit to hit. In each of these interwoven lives, the being possesses an entirely distinct identity: sometimes a man, sometimes a woman, sometimes youthful, sometimes old. By turns murderer, beggar, company chairman, monstrous creature, worker, family man.
Holy Motors, the critics darling of 2012, is as strange, befuddling and pretentious as the gushing reviews suggested it would be. Leos Carax’ first feature film in over a decade is a willfully odd odyssey; a picaresque story of cinema itself and an ode to performance. The committed, certifiable and chameleon-like Denis Lavant plays Mr. Oscar, a man who travels around Paris in a limousine transforming himself into a range of strikingly different characters for reasons left largely up to the audience to decide.
It is a film made for, and by, a particular type of film fan; one steeped in the history of film who enjoys partaking in a game of spot the movie reference. It’s an indulgent, self-satisfied…
To say that Holy Motors has been praised would be the understatement of the century. It has been discussed and interpreted more than probably any other movie this year. Furthermore, seemingly every major critic loves it. It has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, an 84 on Metacritic, and my boy Film Crit Hulk placed it at the very top of his 2012 list, ahead of Django Unchained, The Master, Looper, and several other terrific titles. However, there's something none of those critics will tell you, and I'm here to give it to you straight: the key to understanding Holy Motors is knowing that Holy Motors SUCKS.
Now, before you prejudge this as another Cosmopolis-style "Dear Fuckers" letter, hear me out,…
A film that, needless to say, has a number of correct subjective interpretations directly proportional to the amount of viewers that saw it with a high attention span and an open mind, in my humble opinion, can be more easily dissected if:
I. It is seen passively.
“I'd rather people feel a film before understanding it."
- Robert Bresson
“We think too much and feel too little."
- Charles Chaplin.
Some things do not have to make sense. The mind can reast peacefully at night if it was not capable of rationalizing all stimula in one day, even if it seems impossible to several people. Some things just deserve to be felt.
II. The "appointments" topic is taken as the…
Q1. Was this art over substance?
Q2. Was there a point?
Q3. What genre is it?
Q4. Did I like it?
Q5. Did I hate it?
A1-5. I honestly don't fucking know!
This almost feels like a surreal version of the Mediaeval play Everyman. In that play Everyman (representing Man) meets up with a host of allegorical characters representing Life. Through these encounters Everyman learns how to reach salvation, thus completing Life's circle.
If I proceed in this train if thought, Lavant's Oscar is all those allegorical characters rolled up into one creature, a physical manifestation of life, showing us, the Everyman, the state of affairs. And apparently Life is getting old. It is having great difficulty dealing with the rapid, shallow progress we are making and basically has increasing difficulty providing us with our overly demanding urges. Life's own cycle seems to be running towards its end, heading towards its own…
Thesis - The movie is an ode to the human body as the most cinematic of objects.
1. The old video that starts the film.
2. The scene trumpeting the humans performing mo cap over the final product itself.
3. An array of physically showy performances - ogre, beggar, killer, musician, singer, grumpy father.
The "Holy Motors" of the title and conclusion, then, is a metaphor for the engine that makes cinema hum - the human body. Carax asks that in our rush to the next cinematic object, we not fall out of love with the original cinematic object.
There are a lot of neat concepts, but bringing them together created a bit of a mess. Some of the visuals are tacky. However, the use of sound, music, camerawork, and makeup is superb. It's a mixed bag and is not the best surrealism has to offer.
Honestly thought this film would be so much weirder than it was. It's kinda genius and fascinating. As much as i wanted to stop watching at times i just couldn't. Watching films like this make me even more mad at Hollywood for not being more original!
Holy Motors has been a longtime staple at the top of my "Need to Watch" list since 2012 - so, for better or worse, I couldn't help but feel this weird degree of hype/expectation while watching it that was still pretty firmly rooted in the fantastic trailer (and some of the more memorably ecstatic reviews) that I devoured 3 years ago.
I can't quite say I walked away from this feeling any notable emotional impact, but there were still plenty of moments in this thoroughly bizarre and mesmerizing movie that left a hell of an impression. Found myself considerably more impressed by style and structure than any given story thread, and was also pretty blown away by Denis Lavant's remarkably…
Delightfully strange. To try and name something to compare it to is impossible.
Bizarre and beautiful. I'm psyched that I genuinely enjoyed a Leos Carax film, especially after not falling in love with either Mauvais Sang or The Lovers On The Bridge (despite being in awe of Denis Lavant). I can see how this would frustrate some viewers, and to be quite honest, I'm surprised it didn't frustrate me. Perhaps I was just in the right mood?
SAW IT AT FANTASTIC FEST 2012
This is not a movie for everyone. Its a movie that is really hard too explain, but I highly recommend that you watch it.
This film loses half a star because of that musical bit with Kylie Minogue. Otherwise it's amazing and perfect in every way.
To articulate a love for this film is as difficult as interpreting it; all I know is I'd be thoroughly absorbed watching Denis Lavant get a colonoscopy.
170 mandatory viewing experiences.
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…