FILM: Holy Motors

New York Film Festival darling, critic pick and probably the most surreal movie experience I have had in a while is Leos Carax’s Holy Motors, a wild ride about…a wild ride. Carax, who wrote and directed here, hasn’t made a full length film in quite a few years, but with Holy Motors, he basically lets his imagination and artistry loose.

Starring the chameleon-like Denis Lavant as Oscar, spirited along Paris all in one day by his regal chauffeur Edith Scob’s Celine, the man acts through his mysterious ‘appointments’. Silliness, murder, a daddy picking-up his daughter to drive her home from a party and an older man dying in front of his niece, all entertaining scenes to be sure but by far the most interesting moment (fun, scary and even sexy at times) is the scene where Lavant’s one-eyed homunculus runs through Père Lachaise cemetery to spirit Eva Mendes down into the sewers with him.

There’s actually a rather poignant slow moving dance-like scene with Lavant and singer Kylie Minogue (who actually sings in the movie) near the end of the movie and the actual ending, from Oscar’s last ‘appointment’ to Scob dropping off the limo in the parking area of Holy Motors’ parking hanger are really funny moments.

Holy Motors is a great looking film, the acting is top notch-Lavant is a wonder really-and Caroline Champetier’s cinematography is luscious, making this film as much a flight of fancy by Carax as his love letter to the city of lights.

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