Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Holy Motors (2012)

IMDb plot summary: From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of a mystic man named Monsieur Oscar.
Directed by Leos Carax. Starring Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, and Kylie Minogue.

A few years ago, I watched The City of Lost Children with my university's movie club. I found it one of the most visually arresting, beautiful movies I'd ever seen. When it finished, several people discussed how ugly they thought the visuals were, and I was completely taken aback that they were seeing things so differently.

Here, I'm on the other side of the fence. I went and looked up a bunch of reviews for this afterwards (because *I* sure as heck didn't know what was going on in this movie) and many of them referred to its loveliness and its beauty. For me, this was almost a viscerally ugly, grotesque film. It all just felt... *icky*. Even aside from my minor frustration that I didn't "get" the movie, I didn't like looking at it either and found myself just antsy for it to be over.

I knew this movie was going to be weird, but I hoped I was going to be able to get into it anyway. When the movie finished, I found myself saying out loud to my dog, "What the crap did I just watch?" - and not in a good way. With no continuity between all the different little segments, none of them really had a basis to build any kind of emotional connection, and whatever symbolic meaning was intended about acting or technology or voyeurism or performance was entirely lost on me. (Even reading other people's takes afterwards didn't help.)

With the little I knew of this movie, I suspected I'd either love or hate it, and unfortunate it definitely fell on the "hate" side. If I had loved the visuals or had the faintest clue what the movie was trying to say, I could have latched on to something... but as it was, nope.

Flickchart: #1933 out of 2192, below National Velvet and above Ice Princess. That is MUCH lower than I anticipated at first, but I guess that's about right. The more I compared it to other movies, the more I found myself thinking, "Nope, I'd rather watch that other one than Holy Motors."

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