The man leaves his house in the morning. He walks down his driveway. There is a white limousine parked at the end. The driver is waiting for him. He enters the vehicle and the car departs for the man’s “assignment,” the first of nine for the day. And so this one-of-a-kind adventure begins…
Holy Motors is a bizarre movie. It debuted at Cannes last year to ecstatic responses. It is a movie for those who have an appetite for something different in their cinematic diet, something far from the Iron Man 3s and the The Hangover Part IIIs that rule the box office today. If you often leave your local theater wondering if it’s possible to make a wholly original film nowadays, then Holy Motors should be the next movie that you see.
Usually, films as experimental as this are boring and tedious. This one is not. Holy Motors has the ability to hold an eery spell over the audience. Fragments of story do exist, only each piece appears to be a part of a different puzzle. Throughout the entire film, I felt that if I had just been given a few more bits of information, then I would have made complete sense of it all. That is the film’s first major virtue: its vignettes are connected well enough to captivate us, yet Leos Carax, the director, continuously refuses to hand over simple answers to the audience.
The unbridled weirdness of Holy Motors might be polarizing for some. After all, every ambitious movie that pushes the boundaries of cinema has its critics. I’ll go ahead and put up a disclaimer: This film is not for everyone. Many may find that the surrealism prevents them from emotionally connecting to the story, which I can certainly understand and I admit that the film is not a movie that one can easily warm up to. I cannot promise that you will feel the same as I do, but I still thoroughly enjoyed Holy Motors and would be hard-pressed to find a more visionary achievement from 2012.
I would hate to reveal too much about the film, so I will leave you with this invitation from the movie’s website. Of course, if you’ve seen the film and want to discuss it in more detail, then simply leave a comment:
“Join Monsieur Oscar on his rollicking, soulful journey by limousine through the streets of Paris as he transforms into multiple characters for a series of mysterious “appointments”. Melding monster movie, film noir, romantic drama, musical, crime thriller, anime, Léos Carax’s mirthful, mind-bending masterwork is a ravishing fever dream of becoming, unraveling and starting all over again.”