DENIS LAVANT EDITH SCOB EVA MENDES KYLIE MINOGUE
Every year there are the films that work truly outside the realm of what most movie watchers consider “normal”. Last year we had The Tree of Life that became quite a critical hit and Melancholia that did not. Whether you like these kinds of films or not, at least we can admire that a small group of filmmakers are thinking and working outside of the system and on a higher level of creativity. Holy Motors is a film that will have the vast majority of audiences confused or disinterested, and while it isn’t a film that I love or would ever see again, it’s certainly creative and unique.
When Mr. Oscar (Levant) leaves his home in the morning, he greets his driver Celine (Scob) and gets into his white limo to begin the day's “appointments”. Oscar’s appointments are not business meetings, they are instead scenes. Inside the limo he will read the folder for that appointment and disguise himself accordingly. For instance, his first appointment has him disguised as a helpless beggar on the street, while in the second he is filming a science fiction porno in motion capture. This goes on throughout the day as he journeys from one setting to another inside Paris.
Everyone can decipher the plot of Holy Motors for themselves (some won’t care enough to think about it). For me, I imagined that in the film The Truman Show, Truman never left and this is what his reality became. Oscar goes from place to place and even speaks about all the hidden cameras and how it was easier when the cameras were so large. Where Truman’s life was one big show, Oscar is an actor in many roles. The earlier “appointments” I found the most interesting and the later seem to drag on, almost as if Oscar was tired and the pace had slowed.
The grave troll, featuring Eva Mendes, is the most memorable because we watch Oscar dressed as a disgusting troll, eating flowers as he walks through graveyards and into a photo shoot where he captures Eva Mendes. However, my favorite scene was the “interval”, which is almost a musical sequence half way through with everyone playing music boxes, and it's great music. I did get restless near the end when he begins to play less exciting characters, including the man dying in the bed; the fast pace was one of the elements that kept me interested. A colleague made the remark that this is the film he wanted Cosmopolis to be, and I would certainly agree with that.
Final Thought - One of the most startling and creative films of the year, but only for a select audience.
By: Dustin Chase