Luke Thorne’s review published on Letterboxd:
Denis Lavant and Edith Scob star in Leos Carax's energetic, enigmatic surrealist adult drama. Also starring Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue. In French with English subtitles.
Taken around Paris by a faithful driver (Édith Scob), an enigmatic man (Denis Lavant) dresses up in regalia and takes on a variety of strange, part-scripted characters.
Denis Levant gives a very good performance in multiple roles as Mr Oscar, The Beggar, Motion Capture Actor, Monsieur Merde, Father, The Accordionist. The Killer, The Killed, The Dying and The Man in the Foyer, the man taking on all these personalities, but no-one appears to be taking any notice capturing these performances. He suits his roles very well.
Elsewhere, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue all give respectable performances in their respective roles as Céline, Kay M and Eva. Céline is the driver involved, while Eva is the woman who appears in one of the sequences and she also sings “Who Were We” very well.
The direction from Carax is very good because he allows the facial expressions to be seen to a strong effect throughout, while also keeping a tense atmosphere happening as well and the script is written to a decent standard by the director as he makes the movie good to follow.
The camera stands out best in terms of the technical aspects, because it makes good use of the locations and also captures the tense and dramatic moments well, which get the edge-of-the-seat status.
Some scenes in the film are disturbing in places, but it is part of the story, so it has to be included, otherwise this movie wouldn’t have competed for the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Overall, it is not an easy watch in places, but Holy Motors is a decent adult French drama, due to the very good and central performance from Denis Levant, along with the direction, script and tense atmosphere.