Holy Motors

Leos Carax's fantastical and puzzling film Holy Motors is a string of surreal and disconnected vignettes set in Paris that revolve around various personalities played by the same actor, Denis Lavant, and that range in tone from the touching to the repulsive. Lavant's M. Oscar, an apparently spectral figure, is an actor and master of disguise who travels from appointment to appointment in a white stretch limousine driven by Celine (Edith Scob). Over the course of 24 hours, M. Oscar contorts his body into that of a crippled beggar, assassinates a banker, kidnaps a fashion model (Eva Mendes), and reunites with a doomed former lover (Kylie Minogue), all in different guises. The film is all unsettling, though entrancingly shot, stream of consciousness with themes of mortality and emotional torpdiness woven into each of M. Oscar's appointments. Carax, who has not directed a feature film since 1999, clearly has a lot on his mind and much of it is on the screen, I suppose, but, in the end, it's nearly anybody's guess what it all means. Explicit nudity and general confusion.


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