Critics suck. (Yes, I appreciate the irony of that sentence.) When Holy Motors topped many critics' Best of 2012 lists, I noticed something odd: While many did the usual orgasmic rhapsodizing about how amazeballs it was, almost no one was discussing the plot. I finally called out one such critic in the comments and his mealy-mouthed reply was the usual chin-stroking about how it was blah-blah-woof-woof; it just turns into the adults in Charlie Brown cartoons at that point. While flicking through Netflix's virtual shelves trying to agree on a movie with the girlfriend, it came up and so we decided to see what the hoohaw was about.
Short Version: It's weird.
Longer Version: It's weeeeeeeeeeiiiirrrrrd.
You can look at the trailer below (which for some dumb reason spoils the very end of the movie, not that it matters) it looks like a surreal miasma of nutsy crazoid WTFery, but it barely scratches the surface of the trip (both meanings) we take with director Leos Carax and star Denis Lavant who plays Mr. Oscar, an actor(?) chauffeured around Paris on "assignments" which involve him stepping out in a variety if guises. First he's an elderly woman begging on the street then he's a motion capture performer busting out ninja moves before simulating sex with a contortionist then it gets weeeeeeiiiirrrrrd in a segment involving Eva Mendes as a model. (According to Wikipedia, this character originated in Carax and Lavant's segment from the omnibus film Tokyo! - I have this DVD, so I'll have to backtrack) which leads to more odd, oddly banal, banally weird, crazy pants huh, and then super-weird and head-scratching. Don't ask me what it means; I suspect a lost bet was involved with this production.
If you're someone who likes tight plots and snappy dialog, keep on moving. But if you're someone who doesn't care if movies are so open to interpretation as to have nearly no inherent meaning, then Holy Motors may just be your cuppa. There is no denying that it's unlike pretty much anything else you'll see this or any year. Whether it makes sense or means anything will be up to the viewer to decide as no assembly instructions were included.
Score: 5/10. Catch it on cable. (Netflix has it.)