Holy Motors

November 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Posted in 2012 | Leave a comment

◊ ◊ ½

Holy cow!  I love the French but they can make some challenging films.   While not as much fun as last year’s “Rubber,” this movie was never boring, yet I could not recommend it to anyone who cannot love a film just for the craft of film making.  The story takes place over the course of one night as a Oskar (Denis Levant) is driven around in his stretch limo to 9 “apppointments.”  Along the way, we watch him transform in the limo, using standard Hollywood make-up (eg wigs, fake noses, teeth, penis, etc.) to transform into an elderly beggar woman, an insane cannibal, a ruthless killer, his victim, a parent, a business man, etc.  He plays about a dozen people in total, who wander Paris engaging in various interactions with people who know him as those parts.  Some scenes are dramatic, some absurd, one is a musical.  The scenes have no discernible order, no connected plot, and often make no sense.  The film goes on and on until it ends, quite randomly, with Oskar’s wife and child, who are apparently chimps?  Oh, and talking limos.  The film is clearly saying something about film making, life, artifice and story telling but I have no idea what.  Along the way, there are some beautiful, evocative images.  My favorite involved Eva Mendes wrapped in a burka made out of torn pieces of her haute couture gown, recreating Mary in The Pieta, while Levant lies naked in her lap, covered in torn flowers with a fully erect (and rather ugly) penis.  If that sort of a scene is not up your alley, I’d suggest “SkyFall” instead.

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