Film review: HOLY MOTORS, from Built For Speed

Holy Motors is one of those films where you will constantly ask “what the hell is going on?”.

This French film features a gurning, sinewy Gollum man who initially appears to be a wealthy businessman but who cruises around in a stretch limo putting on weird disguises and engaging in bizarre, sometimes violent acts.  At one point he’s a crippled old woman begging for change, then a dishevelled loon who kidnaps a model from a photo shoot and takes her to his lair. He also finds himself in a musical number with Kylie Minogue and at one stage goes home to a chimp.

This film has all the perplexing weirdness of 2001: A Space Odyssey or Eraserhead but lacks their gripping intensity and stylistic genius.  Admittedly, there are some visually stunning moments such as the motion capture video game sequence.  Also, at times it’s interestingly weird and confronting but too often it’s either annoying or dull. Also, its attempts at absurdist comedy fall flat.

Of course reviewers at Cannes loved it for its oddness and some will see this as brave and edgy cinema. While I applaud unconventional cinema, I deplore quirkiness for the sake of quirkiness which is too often the case here.


Nick’s rating: Two and a half stars.

Classification: MA 15+

Director(s): Leos Carax

Release date: 23 August 2012

Running time: 115 mins.

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