Step One: Go to www.random.org.
Step Two: Pick a Number.
Step Three: GET WEIRD!
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!
Within an individual life, and perhaps in sequential ones, we are incarnated not one but many times, taking on the roles that we are given or aspire to, performing them to the best of our abilities, succeeding sometimes, failing others, oftentimes just getting by. If you could prepare or hone a gift for sudden improvisation that would undoubtedly help, as would having a stretch limousine dressing room piloted by an expert chauffeur (Edith Scob!!! In a role which connects directly to her ***** performance in Eyes Without A Face, the film of films whose presence more than any other's lingers or hovers like a ghost or an angel over Holy Motors) and filled with endless theatrical props, makeup mirror and…
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…
Easily one of the worst movies this year.
Critics suck big time.
Chimpanzees! Erect penis! Fingers bitten off! Adidas track suits! Kylie Minogue! Talking cars! Accordion jams!
This movie has it all and yet nothing at the same time.
Holy Motors is certainly strange enough for its reputation to be warranted.
Holy Motors begins with a prologue that does a great job of setting the tone for the rest of the film: a man walks through a wall and enters a theater wherein the audience are either sleeping or dead.
Each scene is unique, dream-like, and ambiguous, with little logic or coherence to any aspect. Various themes are touched upon: reality vs. unreality, the meaning of life and death, the definition of beauty, the karmic comeuppance of exacting revenge, happiness, technology, cheap thrills and true art. Very thought-provoking and always interesting, despite the hyper-kinetic nature of the "story" and a tendency to never dwell very long on a particular…
For a film to generate so many takes—of all conceivable temperatures—attests to its uniqueness if not its importance. Most of them that I've read either want to say it's "about ________" or it's bullshit. I don't see how it (or any decent film) can be "about" one particular thing; and even if this is bullshit, it's bullshit of the most worthwhile variety. In its quest to be a little bit of everything, it goes extra nuts at the 3/4 point, somehow giving you some extra narrative info while ensuring maximum ambiguity. With this (2nd? 3rd?) viewing, an aspect continues to fascinate me. The most standout thread connecting each of Monsieur Oscar's appointments/performances is the extreme familiarity, almost casualness, with which…
Having to revisit details on something I find repulsive makes this one of the toughest reviews I’ve had. I have no judgements with the brazen approach or abrasive self hating nature of the main character. Art is something people find beautiful in their own way. Whoever owns the looking glass decides what the discovery is. To put it ever so briefly this is a story about a man being chauffeured around the city. His job is to act out a wide range of dramatic skits for the pleasure of some vaguely revealed hidden fetish society. Who like to watch, apparently. Why he does this isn’t explained. It starts off with promise as our main character appears to step out from…
An incredibly absorbing and thought-provoking film that takes us in a mind-boggling journey with a character that drifts from one role to the next in many puzzling rendezvous and identities - a narrative experiment that proves to be fascinating and surprisingly moving.
More reviews on filmotrope.com
And just when it couldn't get it any stranger...
I was not familiar with the director, his previous work or the enthusiasm surrounding this movie so I dived into it as fresh as it gets. I'm still not sure what the heck this movie is about or if there even is a deeper meaning to all of this but I'm pretty certain that what I saw is not something I like. Like at all.
I don't mind weird arthouse movies that can cement their weirdness with a robust foundation in the form of a coherent theme or a common motive, but in the case of Holy Motors you don't get any of that and are left with a whole lot of question marks in your head instead. Mainly it…
Wrote a few words on the movie (in french) :
Step One: Go to www.random.org.
The best that cinema has had to offer since 2000 as picked by 177 film critics from around the world.…
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…