A deep, abstract look at the world that produced this film. This is one of my favorite cinematic examinations of consumerism. While 2 or 3... is an essential piece of the Godard catalogue, it's best experienced as a progression of Godard's earlier work, and not as an introduction.
"Actors should quote," our heroine says, herself quoting Brecht, and it works because her often beautiful out-loud ruminations go entirely unnoticed by everyone else. So it's one of Godard's best, but this move from the freestyling characters of early Godard toward the quoting figurines of late Godard was the beginning of the end. It's as if he felt that cinema had reached a dead end and made his films to prove it.
One of Godard's best "essay films disguised as a narrative feature" films. Love his whispered narration and the conversations, the beautifully clinical shots of industry. It's weird to say my fave bit was the closeup of a cup of coffee.
Aside from the obvious anti-war, anti-industrial stance the film takes, I feel like a lot of this may have gone quite over my head (unless Godard is crazy and just rambling on about nothing.) Yet for a film that seems so concerned with personal interaction in the modern age, it offers little in the way of emotional resonance. Still, it was often rather hypnotic, and the famous 'espresso scene' was unforgettable.
The word, "pretentious" belongs to films like Pierrot Le Fou and Made in USA mainly because both films were his attempts to make self important, strongly entertaining films about sociopolitical issues world over. They were failures - 2 or 3 Things is his success. What seemed like ramblings in his previous films feels like poetry here. It lives up to the hype - it truly is a film essay.