From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of a mystic man named Monsieur Oscar.From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of a mystic man named Monsieur Oscar.From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of a mystic man named Monsieur Oscar.
The plot (although it is also worth putting that notion out of your head too) is that a man is transported around in a limousine in Paris, being dropped off at different locations to fulfill a series of appointments. If you can get over the ridiculous sight of traffic moving freely in Paris, you will still need to work with the fact that these appointments range from acting like a tramp in the middle of busy street, acting out a weird alien love scene in a mo-cap suit, killing someone and taking their identity, being a frustrated father to a teenage girl and other such random things. These events range hugely in what they did to me. Between different episodes and indeed within different episodes I went from amusement to bemusement; from engaged to bored; from interested to frustrated – and for all of these I also went back the other way in some cases. It is a film that is frustrating and quite good at the same time. It is a total art film and it really has no interest in anyone who expects it to do anything to help the viewer. Personally I dislike this approach although I recognize that some love difference and uniqueness for just those qualities – it working or being good is a distant second.
I really tried to find the meaning in the film but it was too obscured for me and I was too remote for it to get to me. I have read quite a few reviews from those that love the film but they have been generally vague and non-specific in their praise, almost as if they really want to love it for how diverse and unique it is, but aren't able to put their finger on its good qualities despite this. This is not to say that I did not appreciate these qualities as well – just that for me they are not enough. So yes I quite enjoyed creative aspects to it, or some of the events and situations, but generally it just seemed too fragmented, too lacking in anything tangible and ultimately it just felt like it was being difficult and surreal for the sake of it, not as the path to a goal. I'm sure some were thrilled watching the character stand shaking a tin at passing strangers, or exhilarated by two people in mo-cap suits dry humping each other, or entertained by the sight of a silent Eva Mendes abducted by a naked crazy guy with an erection but such things did not work for me. There is something in there I am sure about cinema as we do get reference to cameras and other films, but as I say, it was too little, too obscured for me.
Visually the film has imagination and style, while the performance of Lavant is enthusiastic and committed, but these are not the content. I'm sure Mendes and Minogue both get a little career benefit from being on the inside of such a project, but for Mendes it was a waste although Minogue's section was nicely done. This is not a film for performances though and, outside of Lavant, there really isn't much to talk about. If you enjoy wildly weird and odd films on the basis that they are weird and odd, then you'll like this and will maybe even pat yourself on the back for being clever enough to enjoy it (even if you struggle to put that enjoyment into specific words). However those looking for more will be disappointed and many may hate the film; personally I found aspects to like and much to engage, but ultimately it didn't work for me as a whole and too much worked against it at the same time.
- bob the moo
- Dec 1, 2013