Saturday, November 10, 2012

On Assignment, Dept.

So, a week after seeing Cloud Atlas, I watch another film that burns through a series of movie genres and features an actor playing multiple roles.

In contrast to the former, however, Holy Motors does not take pains to make its point clear to the viewer.  In fact, it seems somewhat indifferent in that regard.  It merely offers images and stories and seems to say, Work with that, 'k?

I don't really want to offer too much detail about the film.  Although, given the fact that it's only here for one week, I wonder how many readers will even find it at their multiplex anytime soon.  Aside from the fact that it has stiff competition for moviegoers' entertainment dollars, opening, as it does, the same weekend as Skyfall and Lincoln, two films that are its polar opposite in terms of setting and meeting audience expectations.

That said, more than a few critics are touting Holy Motors as film of the year.  I think it unlikely it'll accumulate The Artist-level Oscar™ buzz--though both films are built around a love of cinema--simply because, as noted, it doesn't make things obvious or comfortable for the viewer, and a leading man who sheds his characters like a molting snake doesn't leave much for an audience to identify with.

What I will share is that Holy Motors will leave you guessing even as it doesn't demand that you "get" the film to have enjoyed it.  And fans of Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face will get a treat.

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