Directed by Joann Sfar, The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun reminds me of the 1960s European thrillers as an erotic, hazy story that spellbinds you because you can’t quite figure out what is going on with the femme fatal character. Is she good…is she bad? Still, she is the center of the movie, played by Scottish actress Freya Mavor. Her luxuriant outfits, and cinematographer Manuel Dacosse leering camera offers the possibility of a good movie, yet the rambling mystery never fully takes shape.
Based on the 1970 remake starring Samantha Eggar and Oliver Reed, which I never saw, the story actually comes from Sebastien Japrisot’s convoluted 1966 novel. The story follows apparently a normal French secretary Dany Doremus, played beautifully by Mavor. She works for a shady boss, played by Benjamin Biolay. She arrives at his home to transcribe important documents. His wife, played by Stacy Martin, is at home, and she used to be friends with Dany. Now, they are uncomfortably distant. The couple asks her to drive them to the airport the next day. They let her use his classic blue Ford Thunderbird. After dropping them off at the airport, Dany decides to take a joyride.
The movie is a bizarre journey, acid trip, and murder mystery. Nothing seems to add up as the story feels like an aimless road trip. Situations happen to Dany, and she seems like she has a pipe in her head or a screw loose, but nothing is quite explained as to what is happening.
The story comes together, but by the time that happens, everything is lost. All except, Mavor as Dany. She is every man’s hot dream as well as Sfar, who films her at every and any angle to evocate what men want or can’t get enough of her.
The music haunts the film and crawls under the skin, especially with Wendy Rene’s “After Laughter (Comes Tears)” pulling off a mind-blowing result.
All in all, the movie has some good merits, and some will enjoy it.