Holy Motors

Holy Motors ★★★½

Leos Carax seems to be keenly aware that Holy Motors isn't meant to be understood. At least not completely.

As a series of seemingly disjointed scenes, Holy Motors, at first glance, appears to be little more than an exercise in absurdist comedy. But to assert that the film is wholly devoid of meaning would be to dismiss Leos Carax's work as frivolous.

The story, if one could call it that, follows Oscar (Denis Lavant) to a variety of "appointments", a collection of disparate roles and occupations, from murderer to madman, father to star-crossed lover. As Carax subverts our expectations throughout the film, its clear that the only thing tying each sequence together is Lavant's mesmerizingly immersive performance.

But while Lavant is playing a multitude of characters, he is still in essence only playing one -- our guide through Carax's love letter and middle finger to cinema.

Holy Motors is maddening, sentimental, and often funny. But hardly is it peak cinema. Instead, its a mirror to cinema itself. A reflection on just how preprosterously absurd it is, but also how it can be deeply moving. Filmmaking, as they say, is a lie to reveal truth. Holy Motors pulls the veil on that very lie but reminds us why we keep on believing it.

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