I've always had a love for those bizarre and seemingly inexplicable films that populate the Arthouse movie genre - so when I read a review that stated Leos Carax's Holy Motors to be one of the most 'original' films of recent years I couldn't really resist, despite the warning signs furrowed deep in the brows of the man at the video shop... And well, yes, Holy Motors is a very original movie, and a very bizarre one at that, which follows its protagonist Monsieur Oscar as he is chauffeured around Paris in a white stretch limo to attend a number of 'appointments'. Each appointment demands of him a certain character and his limo serves as a base and a dressing room where piles of boxes and cases are revealed to contain numerous costumes, wigs, prosthetics, false nails, teeth and even contact lenses. Dennis Levant's performance is undoubtedly rather amazing as is Bernard Floch's makeup design and application at transforming each role Monsieur Oscar briefly inhabits into a unique entity. Throughout the film we see him transform into an array of contrasting roles - including a scar faced murderer, a dying uncle, a begging old crone and a bandy legged, flower munching supermodel thieving sewer tramp. Laced a with dark surrealism and containing some striking if not rather disturbing visuals and cinematography - I certainly won't be forgetting this one in a hurry.
To those of you who are fans of Arthouse and enjoy rather dark, twisted and somewhat theatrical cinematic storytelling such as the works of David Lynch and Peter Greenaway, Holy Motors may be well worth considering spending an evening with. To those of you who prefer the more traditional side to cinema - you know, those films where you easily understand what's going on, I'd look elsewhere. Either way, I probably wouldn't recommend watching this with your Granny....
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