Cosmopolis (2012), Lincoln Lawyer (2011) & Holy Motors (2012)
As a non-driver, the limousine as a form of transport has been quite appealing. My reality constricts me to realise that the likelihood of me swanning around in a limousine is of course nonsense. Not just as regards the practical but also as regards the visual, phallic ridiculousness of the limousine. In some ways, these three films all deal with the sexual possibilities of the vehicle, but mainly we see the limousine as a place of abode, work, a station as to navigate the streets. All three films are varyingly successful. Cosmopolis succeeds best amongst this trilogy, purely based on the level of quality on offer. David Cronenberg's Don DeLillo adaptation was met with a resigned shrug on release, but catching up with this now, Cosmopolis feels like a sharp, witty, cynical and ultimately well acted treatise on the state we're in. Robert Pattinson seems to be Cronenberg' s latest muse (replacing Viggo Mortensen) and also trying to shake off the Twilight tag. Pattinson plays multi-billionaire Eric Packer, gliding around Manhattan in his Limo, looking for a new haircut (with, one must say, an already severe looking thatch). He conducts business from the back seat: a colon inspection as part of a full on medical, sex with his art dealer (a sexy, razor esque Juliette Binoche cameo), a philosophical encounter with his prime analyst (Samantha Morton), a massage and various other comings and goings. Pattinson has the Patrick Bateman 1000 yard stare down. Cronenberg makes the car the star (some lavish interior shots of the limo give the car a fetishtic quality). Cronenberg references his own Crash movie at times, and the whole film has a similar voyeuristic quality. For me, Cosmopolis re-affirms Cronenberg's position as the master of dark arts, his own stamp of quality– even able to to overcome DeLillo's original imprint and make it his own. Cronenberg still goes deeper and further than any other supposed mainstream director. Cosmopolis retains his and its edge.
The Lincoln Lawyer is a movie that has been given as an example of Matthew McConaughey's re-emergence as a serious actor. The Lincoln Lawyer certainly has moments where it could become more than the routine, almost made for TV quality thriller it actually is. McConaughey plays defence lawyer Haller, who takes on the case of an ultra wealthy client to help clear their name of murder. Haller is an attorney who bends the rules and uses unorthodox yet successful ways to help his clients. He works out the back of a rather rundown limo, and during the course of the picture makes reference to the back seat as his office. But director Brad Furman doesn't have Cronenberg's vision, and doesn't do anything more than to use the Limo as a long car. Marisa Tomei is wasted as the love-interest. The Lincoln Lawyer seamlessly runs out of interesting plot twists about mid-way through, the second coming of McConaughey had to wait a bit longer.
|The Lincoln Lawyer|
|Kylie in Holy Motors|
Three movies in limousines – films where a small concentrated and moving space figures largely but very differently. I have the least to say about Holy Motors, because we still have not finished the film. I was simultaneously drawn to its scope, daring and the cartoon-like sexiness, yet the over-artistic fiction and its deepening craziness constantly threatened to kill my interest. And so it did transpire that when we had a break from the film for a couple of nights it turned into months. And we continued on in other limousines...
|McConaughey in Lincoln Lawyer|
|Juliette Binoche in Cosmopolis|