My number 8 film of 2012 is a dazzling and highly confusing puzzler. It will fascinate but, yes, also alienate.
The plot sounds simple enough, but unfolds as a complex and baffling character study.
Each stop along Oscar's workday offers extremely memorable visuals and sequences which sear into our memories and heighten our senses.
On some occasions, Carax offers compassion and beauty, but he presents other uglier facets of the human condition too, however, no matter where on the emotional spectrum his camera lands, exceptional movie-making consistently wins out.
This elebratory spectacle challenges traditional film narratives, and it centers around the nature of Oscar's employment.
We think Oscar’s “job” holds one purpose, but his behavior changes, and suddenly, our perception of his work becomes a broken theory.
Meanwhile, the picture plays out like a modern-day opera of symbolism, imagery and sound.
He holds complete command of the screen and uses that power to send the audience into bizarre territory by whisking us into a series of vignettes held together by the aforementioned fateful limo ride.
I must admit I could not decipher Carax’s code and determine – after a 1 hour 55 minute runtime – what it all meant.
It doesn’t matter.
The film took more chances in just 30 minutes than 10 ordinary movies combined, but its chameleon-like storyline will cause you to either throw your hands in the air out of frustration or completely embrace its weirdness.
I, obviously, chose the latter. It takes a lot to surprise me, and "Holy Motors" certainly did.
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