Holy Motors

Mad as a box of multi-coloured frogs but one of the most innovative films you will see all year ‘Holy Motors’ is not your usual conventional cinema outing. With several vignettes loosely strung together by the story of Mr. Oscar a man who is chauffeured round Paris by his driver Céline to carry out ‘appointments’. Denis Lavant is simply amazing as he switches through all his 11 roles doing more great acting in one film than some manage in a whole career. Along this mind-bending journey Lavant will become, in true ‘Mr.Benn’ style, a gangster, a monster, a motion capture artist, an old lady, a family man and much more, the back of his Limousine doubling as his dressing room complete with props and make-up. Each section of the film is so individual with director Carax bringing his wild visions to the screen often transforming Paris into an entirely different beast as it provides the backdrop to the tales of love, sex, death, technology and cinema itself.  Similar to 2010s ‘Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives’ the film is perfectly paced and mixes the surreal and the beautiful in equal measure and with an excellent use of music and humour that balances the dark themes its nothing if not captivating. While some will struggle with the questions this film raises and some will simply be bemused the ones who go with the flow should come away rewarded. ‘Holy Motors’ was a film I really enjoyed and yet I still can’t quite say why, which I think is a good thing and something that cinema hasn’t done to me for a long time. Strange and compelling, you may not understand it all, but ‘Holy Motors’ is a definite must see.

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2 Responses to Holy Motors

  1. silver price says:

    When or where does life end and performance begin, is there a difference? ‘Holy Motors’ may or may not be a fantasy, even when Mr Oscar seems to ‘be himself’, is he really who we think he is? Returning home at the end of his long and gruelling day, how do we really know if this is not yet another performance? In the context of the film, it doesn’t really matter. As comical and fantastical as ‘Holy Motors’ is, it touches on identifiable human experiences throughout the film to sustain an emotional connection. ‘Holy Motors’ is a paean to film and filmmaking, and the actor’s craft. Denis Levant gives the performance of a lifetime, his chameleonic routine makes him unrecognisable from appointment to appointment, delivering one incredible performance after another. Throw in a fleet of talking limousines, a suburban chimpanzee family, marching accordionists, and far more that’s indecipherable, and you’ve got possibly the strangest film of 2012.

  2. The film is played and presented in truly episodic fashion and its endless imagination and direction makes for simply fascinating viewing. One moment the film gently strolls through the beautiful, elegant streets of Paris and, in the blink of an eye, the streets have digitally transformed into space-age hoverboards soaked with strobe and LED lights. Very rarely can a critic or film fan say “you haven’t seen anything like this,” but for the most part Carax’s first film since 1999 is an entirely new visual experience.

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