Holy Motors Reviews
The lead actor is dynamic and possibly my favourite scene involves a marching accordion band. This film is a visual slideshow and we are simply the passenger. Highly recommended to those who enjoy the unusual and Film Buffs who will love the constant references to other films.
Shakespeare says, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts." This movie is like a literal adaptation of that text; it follows an actor named Mr. Oscar, who dons one role after the other, in actual settings, in front of seemingly invisible cameras. It compares an actor's roles to real-life roles, and the themes tackled are similar too - love, sex, despair, death, etc. And in his journey, we also come across various genres of films.
What does it mean to be an actor? How is it costing one? Till what does one have to go to make it feel authentic? These are just few of the questions it makes us wonder. And other than the screenplay, it's the brilliant performance of talented actor Denis Lavant that makes us wonder that. All the sequences have something to offer; they move you, make you laugh, or make you think.
Few notable film references:
- 'Mon Oncle' (the interior of first house)
- 'Lovers on the Bridge' (Beggar sequence, La Samaritaine)
- 'Mauvais Sang' (motion-capture sequence with red & white lines scrolling in the background)
- 'Tokyo!' (the pseudo-leprechaun Merde; he also eats sushi before performing it)
- monster movies like 'King Kong' and 'Godzilla' (Merde picking up the model; the original score from 'Godzilla')
- 'Underground' (Accordion scene)
- 'Breathless' (The name 'Jean', as in Jean Seberg, Kylie Minogue's hairstyle, the mention about lost baby, suicidal tendency)
- 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' (Kylie's singing sequence)
- 'Cremaster 5' (Kylie's dive backwards from the building)
- 'Max Mon Amour' (being married to monkey)
- 'Eyes Without a Face' (the same actress, the same mask)
- and many others.
I heard the word 'unconventional' used to describe it, and words like that attract me to movies. I'm so glad I watched it, because, in a world where films that are pretty long on action and short on art seem to be what it's all about now, I was starting to fall out of love with cinema a little. Holy Motors restored and renewed my affection for it. It's kind of weird, but kind of wonderful too.
What else can I do if not to very honestly admit that my understanding of Holy Motors is likely closely related to the understanding a dog has of our televised content, as the basic connections between scenes and the "actor" thematic make it clear that an idea exists that quickly sprouts into what I can only assume are metaphors, and god knows what plot-unrelated talking cars and leprechauns have to convey.