Holy Motors

Directed By: Leos Carax

Starring: Denis Lavant, Édith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue, Élise L'Homeau, Michel Piccoli, and Jeanne Disson

I have seen some weird movies this year.  Up until this point, Lee Daniels's The Paperboy held the crown for the strangest film of the year.  After all, watching Nicole Kidman give John Cusack an imaginary blow job and urinating all over Zac Efron is some pretty crazy stuff.  After seeing Holy Motors though, my opinion changed.  The Paperboy is lightweight relative to the French/German fantasy drama because Holy Motors is the strangest movie I've ever seen in my entire life.

Monsieur Oscar (Denis Lavant) works for a company known as Holy Motors.  For his employer, he has a series of nine appointments today he must attend.  His driver Céline (Édith Scob) will escort him to each of these appointments throughout the day with one of the company limousines.  His appointments entail dressing up in various costumes and carrying out peculiar tasks.  He begins as a homeless man begging for spare change on the streets of Paris.  He then suits up as a motion capture actor to execute a cool action sequence and have sex on a soundstage.  Afterward, he dresses up as a leprechaun, bites a woman's finger off in public and kidnaps model Kay M. (Eva Mendes).  As the day progresses, he tackles increasingly bizarre assignments as a father, a dying uncle, an assassin, and a cohabitant with chimps.

I must really love Sobriety Test.  For me to endure a movie like Holy Motors shows a serious level of commitment to film and to the Chardonnay in my hand at the time.  Over the course of two hours, I witnessed motion capture actors having some very weird sex on a deserted soundstage, a man eating a woman's hair, an exposed leprechaun, and much, much more.  It's needless to say that this film tested my limits as a moviegoer, but I stuck it out and now have a thing or two to say about Holy Motors.

I understand that director Leos Carax is trying to defy convention and push the boundaries of cinema with Holy Motors.  I understand that Carax needs to do something completely different and refreshing to make his point.  I even understand that things may need to get a little weird at times.  What I don't understand is why it's necessary for viewers to go through mental gymnastics to arrive at his main point.  The vast majority of the movie I'm left wondering what the hell I am watching and not in a good way.  It's not being amazed by some complex, unconventional beauty in the film.  It's being stunned by one unsightly atrocity after another and left wondering why.

I must say that the cast does a good job given the weird nature of this film.  Also, Carax does a decent job from the director's chair.  That being said, there's a lot of strange stuff that does not sit well with me.  For some excessively odd content, Holy Motors gets a strong 0.06% rating.  Double up on the Chardonnay for this one.