Holy Motors (2012) by Leos Carax
Synopsis via Wild Bunch:
We follow 24 hours in the life of a being (Monsieur Oscar played by Denis Lavant) moving from life to life like a cold and solitary assassin moving from hit to hit. In each of these interwoven lives, the being possesses an entirely distinct identity: sometimes a man, sometimes a woman, sometimes youthful, sometimes old to the point of dying; sometimes destitute, sometimes wealthy. By turns murderer, beggar, company chairman, monstrous creature, worker, family man…
It’s clear that Monsieur Oscar is playing roles, and plunging headfirst into each – but where are the cameras, the crew, the director? He seems horribly alone, exhausted from being chained to all these lives that are not his, from having to kill enemies that are not his enemies, having to embrace wives and children who are not his. But sometimes, conversely, we feel Monsieur Oscar is wounded by having to leave, the moment his scene is over, other beings he would have liked to leave no longer.
Where is his home, his family, his rest?
Peter Bradshaw for the Guardian:
The French film-maker Leos Carax, director of Les Amants du Pont Neuf and Pola X, has made his first feature in 13 years, and it is a bizarre surrealist odyssey whose magic ingredient is comedy. This is a gorgeous furry teacup of a film, preposterous and filled with secrets; it is itself one big secret. Holy Motors is simultaneously immersive and alienating. The audience is forever being encouraged to forget about narrative sense and slip into a warm bath of unreason, but persistently jolted back out of it with non-sequiturs, accordion interludes, gags and unexpected chimps.
Despite the fact I’m a fervent hater of Les Amants du Pont Neuf, I completely embraced Holy Motors (right from the intro sequence featuring Leos Carax himself)… One of my favourite films of 2012.
Holy Motors is surreal, beautiful and extremely sad in my opinion. Although I recognise the comedy Peter Bradshaw is referring to, I couldn’t help but interpret everything in the film as deeply tragic… Especially the chimps, Monsieur Oscar’s last and most depressing appointment.