Jack Garner's Plan B: Holy Motors

02:33 PM, Apr 16, 2013

Written By Jack Garner

As an alternative, critic Jack Garner recommends:

HOLY MOTORS. I devote this column to older films that deserve attention amid newer releases. But I also take an occasional opportunity to spotlight new films that didn’t make it into local theaters, or didn’t attract the attention they deserved. This French film from Leos Carax is such a film. But, be warned: If you need a film that makes literal sense and tells a direct story with clarity, don’t bother. Holy Motors is a movie you’ll wonder about, with a meaning of your own personal determination. But, like the great abstract or heavily impressionistic painters, you’ll be drawn in by the film’s incredible beauty and the magnetism of its weirdness and originality. My interpretation (which cannot be viewed as gospel) is that Carax is exploring the nature of cinematic storytelling, as well as the way we are all actors in our individual dramas. The story is of the mercurial Monsieur Oscar, a talented actor and make-up wizard, who is driven around Paris in a giant stretch limo. He goes from one job to another, creating characters that act out a specific series of little films (though we never see the film being shot by anyone). If you make it to the end (and you should), you’re rewarded with a two-part finale that’s even weirder (and more wonderful) then what went before. Be daring. Take a chance.

Director: Carax.

Cast: Denis Lavant, Eva Mendes.

Jack’s rating: 9.

New on DVD This week:
Django Unchained, Repo Man (Criterion Collection), Jackie Chan’s Police Story and Police Story II (Blu-Ray), At the Gate of the Ghost, and A Monster in Paris.

Next Week

: The Impossible, Jurassic Park 3-D, Gangster Squad, Promised Land, Maverick: Second Season, A Haunted House, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan
(Blu-ray), The Great Gatsby (Robert Redford version, Blu-Ray), and Richard III (Criterion Collection).