Leos Carax (The Lovers on the Bridge) further hones his enigmatic vision with 2012’s Holy Motors, starring regular collaborator Denis Lavant (Beau Travail) in one of his most physically commanding performances.
Mr. Oscar (Lavant) is a professional actor of sorts who travels via limo. His gigs run the gamut from acting as an elderly beggar woman to performing kinky motion-capture animation. As Oscar performs each of these appointments, he is driven by his friend and associate Céline (Eyes Without a Face’s Edith Scob), who remains only a hint into Oscar’s personal life. Soon, the gigs begin to collide into both their lives, thrusting them into a labyrinth of what’s real and what isn’t.
Featuring appearances from Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue, Holy Motors is a definitive example of Carax’s go-for-broke maximalist style of filmmaking. Effortlessly transitioning between fantasy and absurdism, the film would go on to win the Prize of the Youth at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
“This is one of those films whose calculated eccentricity doesn’t prevent constant amazement, the feeling of rediscovering cinema scene after scene.” — Carlos Losilla, Sensacine
“These images and sounds that reveal the mind in matter and the soul in bodies suggest Carax’s ultimate definition of the cinema, and it’s one of the best and grandest that a movie has ever offered.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“Denis Lavant shows just why he’s one of the best French actors alive.” — James Mottram, SFX Magazine