HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
   
 
Newest Articles
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
   
 
  Holy Motors The Toll Of The Role
Year: 2012
Director: Leos Carax
Stars: Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue, Elise Lhomeau, Jeanne Disson, Michel Piccoli, Leos Carax, Nastya Golubeva Carax, Reda Oumouzoune, Zlata, Geoffrey Carey, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Elise Caron, Corinne Yam, Julien Prévost, Ahcène Nini
Genre: WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: A cinema audience are asleep as the film plays out before them and in an adjacent room a man (Leos Carax) wakes up in bed. He gets up, walks around the walls and unlocks a hidden door with a key attached to his finger, then goes through to enter the balcony of the auditorium where he notices a small child followed by a couple of huge dogs making their way up the aisle. Meanwhile, Oscar (Denis Lavant) is setting out for work; his family wave him goodbye for the day and he climbs into the limousine which will take him to his destinations, for Oscar has many jobs to fuilfil...

And not all of them reasonable, indeed they are pretty much all crazy, in this, the first feature from writer and director Leos Carax since Pola X in 1999. He had contributed short works in that time, but nothing quite as ambitious as Holy Motors, nor one which divided its audience so completely down the middle, with some proclaiming it a masterpiece and others rolling their eyes and dismissing it as pretentious claptrap. Yet for all the hostility Carax received for not explaining every bit of this film, actually he explained very little which was likely the cause of the consternation, he did appear to have a sincere method in his madness as he examined the strange lifestyle of a filmmaker.

Not just himself as a filmmaker, but the actors who show up for a job, act out something they would never dream of doing in real life whether because it was beyond the laws of science or because it's simply not the sort of thing a normal person carries out, and have to go home as if they were an ordinary soul being professional in their occupation. The business that Lavant would get up to here was not going to obviously slot into many kinds of movies in themselves, but you got the gist as Oscar plays out various scenes his chauffeuse Céline (played by veteran star Edith Scob) takes him to in the limo which would broadly fit a definition of a genre: love story, horror flick, family drama, musical, and so on.

The content of those setpieces was what baffled so many viewers, leaving them unsure of when or if they should be laughing, and it was true a lot of this was very funny in its blankly strange fashion, yet then there would be a scene aiming for the tearducts which didn't quite gel with the rest of it because you were waiting for the next example of weirdness to set Oscar off on another journey. Therefore we may have been watching him indulge in a soul searching heart to heart with Kylie Minogue who expresses her sorrow by trilling a melancholy tune, but then again we have also seen him kidnap Eva Mendes from a photo shoot, take her to the sewers, tear up her dress to make a burqa and curl up naked and sexually aroused on her lap.

It could be that Carax was hedging his bets by packing in as much of what was on his mind as possible, as if this was the last chance he'd get to be so personal and creative: make no mistake, that was one fertile imagination he had in his noggin even if it didn't translate to universal inspiration. This lifestyle is taking its toll on Oscar - which is Carax's genuine middle name, make of that what you will - and Lavant worked wonders in both inhabiting every role he was required to and keeping some sense of continuity as he was dressed up as an elderly beggar woman in one scene and murdering a man who turns out to be himself in different makeup in another. That Holy Motors was frequently ridiculous was much of the charm, though also the reason it would be difficult to get along with should you allow suspicion as to Carax's motives into your thoughts: when a heartfelt deathbed scene resolved itself into both participants saying thanks, good to work with you, maybe see you again there appeared to be a crisis of the worth of fiction going on, never mind the roles we take in life.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2048 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Leos Carax  (1960 - )

Stylish, semi-improvisational French writer-director, a former critic who developed from short films into features with the well regarded Boy Meets Girl. However, it was the futuristic romance Mauvais Sang that really awarded him international attention and all looked well for his lavish love story follow up, Les Amants du Pont-Neuf. Unfortunately it was a failure and it was the end of the nineties before his subsequent film, family drama Pola X, arrived. Carax's cult following increased when after making short films for the next decade he completed his curious, much discussed feature Holy Motors which delighted and confounded in equal measure. Often works with Denis Lavant.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: