Director: Leos Carax
Stars: Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue
Holy Motors is a bizarre and fantastical ride which highlights the magic and creativity of cinema. Any film which ends with talking limousines deserves high praise in my book! The film follows a mysterious man called Oscar who travels around in a limo full of make-up and props. He travels to various ‘appointments’ and dresses up as a different character and unleashes himself on the street, or wherever he may be. These roles range from a hideously deranged and deformed monster who eats flowers to a motion capture suit. In typically Lynchian style, we find ourselves immersed in each role, becoming slowly sucked into each new world the film presents us with. It’s a truly magical experience, not too dissimilar to that of a dream.
You decide early on whether you’re in for the ride or not. You either hop into that limo with Oscar, or you stay stuck firmly to the pavement. To enjoy Holy Motors the most, just go along with it and ask questions later. I embraced it with open arms and lost myself in its surrealism. There may be a lot of deeper meanings here. I think it could represent film-making, or maybe how mainstream films lack imagination. Perhaps the motion capture sequence is to show us how watching people dance about in motion capture suits is more interesting than the actual CGI that dominates most mainstream movies. I don’t know, all I know is that this film is highly entertaining.
Denis Lavant is extraordinary in the lead as Oscar. He truly shows off his acting skills as he completely kills every role. He probably impressed me the most as the dying old man, a scene which turns a largely comic film into something more tragic and moving. Kylie Minogue also impressed in her acting role, although her singing left something to be desired. However, the song itself was brilliantly written and composed.
The directing is also pretty spectacular. It beautifully captures Paris and the film seamlessly jumps from genre to genre, whether it be horror, comedy, musical or gangster, Leos Carax clearly understands and enjoys each genre he explores. Holy Motors is a beautifully deranged love letter to cinema and all it has to offer. It’s a fantastic, creative film which begs to be interpreted in a variety of different ways. It’s easy to see why people would hate it, because it’s so unapologetically different to anything else, but this is exactly why I loved it.