DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
This almost feels like a surreal version of the Mediaeval play Everyman. In that play Everyman (representing Man) meets up with a host of allegorical characters representing Life. Through these encounters Everyman learns how to reach salvation, thus completing Life's circle.
If I proceed in this train if thought, Lavant's Oscar is all those allegorical characters rolled up into one creature, a physical manifestation of life, showing us, the Everyman, the state of affairs. And apparently Life is getting old. It is having great difficulty dealing with the rapid, shallow progress we are making and basically has increasing difficulty providing us with our overly demanding urges. Life's own cycle seems to be running towards its end, heading towards its own afterlife.
And then again it could be about nothing I mention above.
This is a beautiful piece of existential art that holds within it legions of interpretations. Carax is clearly not set out to provide the answers, but what he does rather well is throw a good deal of breadcrumbs on the ground for us to find our own way within it. And if you get lost, there is always something to marvel at. Whether it is the stunning cinematography, the absurdly brilliant Levant or the neverending stream of surreal dialogue and scenes, it doesn't matter. It is a completely engrossing film and if you allow it to take you into its bizarre universe, you'll always get somewhere in the end.
Pretentious masterpiece or beautiful failure. It's probably both and neither. It just is.