2012 / Director. Leos Carax.
Holy Motors makes almost no sense whatsoever and yet it grabs hold of you tightly and sucks you right in. In fact I had to watch it twice before I was confident enough to write about it. French auteur Leos Carax returns from a 15 year absence to direct this abstract, surreal and visceral film that is near impossible to define. I could tout names like David Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowsky to give you a sense of what it's like... but that would do it an injustice. Holy Motors is unto itself. The film begins with a man alone in his bedroom. He has a key for a finger and finds a keyhole in his patterned wall. Upon opening a secret door he walks into a crowded theatre. We then find ourselves spending a day in the life of Mr Oscar, played by Denis Lavant. Throughout the entire film he rides in the back of a limousine where he travels from one appointment to another. The interior of his limo is a mobile dressing room where he dons a different disguise for each of his stops. There are 9 appointments in total and they are each unique and fantastic. One minute he is an elderly beggar woman and the next he is a crazed and highly sexual leprechaun. Yep, this is one hell of a mind-fuck but I didn't, for a second, consider the film difficult to watch. It never phased me that its nonsensical because what I was seeing on screen, sort of did make sense. What I knew was that this strange and wonderful world was fascinating and hypnotic. I am sure there is a deeper subtext to be explored but I'm not there yet. Denis Levant is incredible as Mr Oscar. He carries the film singlehandedly and his performance is one of the guttiest I've seen him deliver. I've always found him to be an eccentric and subversive actor and I think this is one of his most challenging roles ever. He caught my attention several years ago in an amazing music video called Rabbit In Your Headlights and I've tried to see as many of his films as possible. This is my favourite. I don't really get it, but I definitely liked it. So have you seen Holy Motors? And better yet, what did you make of it?