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…
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!
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,…
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.
When to like it or not becomes a decision to make you know you've wasted your time.
My good intentions cannot make this experience any better, any prettier or uglier. I cannot imbue it with more meaning in an attempt to meet the film halfway. I guess what I'm saying is: Perform for me fucker. I'm not playing this game.
The reviews. I've read a lot of them. Where viewers have gleaned more from this film than I have, I get it, like an equation that is mathematically precise but ultimately meaningless. See, I'm still trying.
Then, whilst typing this blah review, I hit on it. This film left me unchanged. And this, the pretty realisation: translate or transform me.…
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…
WHAT THE FUCK?????
A man in a limo is being driven round Paris , going from one appointment to the next, sometimes putting disguises on, and nothing ever making any sense whatsoever. This may be experimental or arty but its just a load of pretentious bullshit. Is weird for weirds sake and how Empire magazine can justify giving it 5 stars is beyond me. Unless I am missing something and its gone right over my head?
The most unique film-watching experience I've had in a long time. Exhilarating in its originality and flawless in its delivery. Carax and Lavant have collaborated to create the best David Lynch film in over a decade. Not that it is derivative of Lynch's themes or style, rather it just feels like a landmark surrealist film.
a movie about oscars
Today I failed at watching this film because I felt forced to interrupt my viewing of it. Perhaps this makes me less of a cinephile. Perhaps my philia disintegrated before this primitive and banal deconstruction of the cinematic. Perhaps it was the degree to which Carax has cultivated meaninglessness from allegory that overwhelmed me. In any case, I had to escape the stark malice of the non-sensical, and I would suggest you do the same.
"Beauty, beauty, beauty, ..." I give it one star for blindly grasping at aesthetics.
When David Lynch gets around to seeing this movie he'll have a stiffy for its entire duration!
This film is odd... and then some.
Pretty sure I have no idea what was going on or what the message is that Leos Carax is trying to convey but it looks outstanding.
Denis Lavant's central performance is wondrous. His sheer physicality and ability to metamorphose in every narrative scenario blew my mind. In addition to this, Edith Scob's Céline and Eva Mendes' Kay M both lend wonderful counterpoints to Lavant's off kilter role(s).
Frankly... I need to go back and watch TOKYO! as it apparently contains more of his Monsieur Merde character. The use of the Godzilla theme as his introduction made…
I like it. I really liked. However, I cannot for the life of me tell you why. It's completely nuts. It's completely barking.
Well that was the weirdest f%@king movie I've ever seen...and rarely in a good way. 5 D+
Right now, "Holy Motors" stands at an astounding 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Count me among the 10% who just couldn't get into it. In fact, I think I'm at the very bottom 1% that absolutely hated the movie.
I found it pretentious and excruciating, even as a film lover and actor myself. I like weird, unconventional movies, and admittedly there are some intriguing ideas and moments scattered about (and the lead actor is good), but the film's insistence on pulling the rug out of every "reality" quickly became tiresome and repetitive, and made it impossible for me to suspend any disbelief. In my opinion, that's unforgivable, and the inability to suspend any disbelief negates the few positive aspects.…