French auteur Leos Carax’s first feature in over a decade isn’t as logorrheic and alienating as David Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis,” but it’s twice as masturbatory and aimless. (And I’m a huge fan of Carax’s “Boy Meets Girl” and “Les Amants du Pont-Neuf.”) Like so many directorial projects gone astray, “Holy Motors” is a film about film, and spotting the references to Jean-Luc Godard or Jean Cocteau is about the only raison d’être Darax supplies.
Denis Lavant — Carax’s regular alter-ego — plays the guy in the limo who dons various elaborate disguises, becoming an old bag lady or a concerned father. He’ll put on a motion-capture suit and dance in front of a green screen, act out a deathbed scene, or morph into the gargoylelike Mssr. Merde, emerging from the sewers to terrorize passersby and abduct fashion model Eva Mendes. Don’t get me started on the Kylie Minogue ballad, the talking cars or Lavant’s unsimulated erection. “Holy Motors” gives a whole new meaning to the term “out of context”: there is no context here. Surrealism left in the fridge too long.