September 19, 2012 at 10:24 am #69734
Set for October 17, 2012, release date.
Peter Bradshaw’s review from Cannes:
Leos Carax’s Holy Motors is weird and wonderful, rich and strange – barking mad, in fact. It is wayward, kaleidoscopic, black comic and bizarre; there is in it a batsqueak of genius, dishevelment and derangement; it is captivating and compelling. This film may or may not be a prizewinner here – although I think it may actually get the Palme d’Or – but really this is what we have all come to Cannes for: for something different, experimental, a tilting at windmills, a great big pole-vault over the barrier of normality by someone who feels that the possibilities of cinema have not been exhausted by conventional realist drama. Some may find it affected or exasperating; I found it weightless and euphoric.
Holy Motors is a mysterious odyssey through the streets of an eerie, beautiful Paris which will often digitally morph into somewhere from a different planet entirely. Denis Lavant plays Monsieur Oscar, a strange figure who is chauffeured around in a white stretch limo by Celine (Edith Scob); he has a fully equipped theatrical dressing room in the back of the car, and prepares for a series of “appointments” by getting into various elaborate and deeply preposterous disguises, checking his briefing documents and pulling the latex over his face like a metaphysical Jim Phelps in TV’s Mission Impossible.
He is an old woman, a wealthy businessman, a tramp, an assassin. At one stage he is a monstrous creature in a turquoise suit who intrudes on a high-fashion photo shoot, and kidnaps the glamorous model, played by Eva Mendes. At another moment, he plays a harassed, grumpy dad, picking up his teenage daughter from a party, and angry and upset that she lies to him about how unhappy she is. At yet another moment, he is an ancient old man on his deathbed, exchanging final confidences with his beautiful, tearful great-niece. In each case, there is utter commitment to this truth, this situation, which will capriciously turn into something else.
There is something of David Lynch here, a little of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, of Gaspar Noé’s Kubrickian head-trips. There’s a mulch of Kafka, JG Ballard, Aldous Huxley and Lewis Carroll. When Monsieur Oscar shimmies into a figure-hugging black lycra outfit and becomes a motion-capture actor, performing an erotic dance with another performer, Carax appears to have absorbed the influence of Tron. Most wackily of all, in the graveyard scene, where the headstones bore website addresses, I even wondered if Carax had seen the work of our own David Shrigley.
And what the heck does it all mean? Perhaps Carax is creating his own secular Buddhism – the longed-for release of reincarnation made available right here, right now, over and over again. Or perhaps it is a commentary on identity and personae – how we all, in TS Eliot’s words, prepare a face to meet the faces that we meet. Perhaps this is a multiple personality disorder: a series of symptoms caused by some awful tragedy: certainly his final musical number suggests this. Or perhaps it is a bravura exercise in pure imagination. Well, it’s funny, it’s freaky: a butterfly that breaks the wheel of convention. It’s just crazy enough to win.September 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm #69737
Just got a screener for this, looking forward to seeing it in the next couple days.September 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm #69738
Just judging the bits and pieces that have been released about it, this probably is not a contender outside of, perhaps, a screenplay nomination (seems kind of far out there in comparison to what is typical of the Academy’s taste).