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Holy Motors (4 stars)

Hugely satisfying and inventive celebration of cinema from Leos Carax

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Holy Motors

Monsieur Oscar (Denis Lavant) is picked up by his driver Celine (Edith Scob) for a day’s work - 9 appointments that will take him across Paris and into the paths of an array of characters. If that sounds vague, it’s deliberate - to say anymore would spoil the joy of Holy Motors, a film that has a surprise tucked around each corner.

Anyone who has seen Leos Carax’s previous films (best known for Les Amants de Pont-Neuf starring Juliette Binoche) will know to expect the weird and the wonderful and Holy Motors has plenty of both. Relishing in visual spectacle it celebrates, in a playful manner, the magic of cinema and the thrill of performance, taking us from the sewers beneath Paris to the rooftops looking out to the Eiffel Tower. Thrown into the mix are unexpected cameos by Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue. Oh and did we mention there’s even a musical interlude?

But Holy Motors isn’t all shallow play, beneath its imaginative surface of costume and make-believe is a tinge of melancholia and a sense of longing for a lost era of cinema. And in turn, with a futuristic concept at its very heart, it is a film that also muses on what might become of the medium. Holy Motors is both hugely enjoyable and subtly thought-provoking and suggests a return for the director who has been off the radar for over a decade.

Holy Motors screened at Cannes Film Festival 2012.

Watch full movie: Holy Motors

Holy Motors

  • 4 stars
  • 2012
  • France
  • 115 min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Leos Carax
  • Written by: Leos Carax
  • Cast: Denis Lavant, Édith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue, Michel Piccoli, Jean-François Balmer

First film in over a decade from Carax, starring Lavant as a man who travels between multiple parallel lives.

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