Holy Motors

Holy Motors ★★★★

I have no idea what I just saw. I'm not even sure whether I enjoyed it or not. Immediately after watching it, I was convinced I didn't like it very much. But I can't seem to stop thinking about it. And such rumination has led me to key on the aspects of the film I truly enjoyed-- mainly Denis Lavant's chameleon-esque performance. This is performance art at its apex. What he does in this film is nothing short of brilliant. Even though the plot [if you can even call it that] is head-scratchingly conceptual, Lavant keeps you as anchored as you can possibly be to this impossibly weird film. And it looks gorgeous. The direction is top-notch and it's obvious right out of the gate, with the dream-like introductory scene dripping with shadows and walls of sound. At times it feels claustrophobic and increasingly uncomfortable, and at others it is expansive and liberating. But this schizophrenic table-setting, while stylistically intriguing, isn't exactly what most audiences would call "inviting". I have no qualms with films that are unapologetically odd. It's when you find yourself chiming "What? What the hell was that?" countless times that it becomes more distracting than unique. And that is where Holy Motors begins to fail. And don't get me started on the Kylie Minogue scene. It almost took me entirely out of the film.

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