Holy Motors, Leos Carax (2012)

Holy Motors has been receiving far from consensual reviews. It made most of the best of 2012 lists but it also has received a considerable amount of lousy reviews.
One thing is for certain, if you are the kind of person who cannot stand being given countless questions but no answers, then you should stay away from it. On the other hand, I believe you should watch it, if for no other reason, at least to understand why it has been receiving such disparate reviews.

(From this point it may contain spoilers. Stop reading if you wish.)

Holy Motors is bizarre, deranged, maybe even nonsense but it is powerful and fearless. In this film the viewer follows Mr. Oscar through a one day journey in which he is driven by his trusted chauffeur who makes sure he arrives to his appointments on time and well prepared. On these appointments Mr. Oscar has to play different roles and that’s why his limo is filled with everything he needs: wigs, latex face masks, costumes and other accessories. Mr. Oscar plays beggar, criminal, a flower-munching mad elf who kidnaps a top-model, etc…
These appointments do not seem to be connected to each other and the reason why Mr. Oscar does this also remains unclear. Is Holy Motors a series of short films put together by a loose narrative? It is possible, I would say, but in the end that does not matter much. Leos Carax’s imaginative and even poetic freedom makes it last year’s event. No one stays indifferent and that is quite an accomplishment in itself.
What is real? What is fantasy? Nothing is crystal clear in Holy Motors. When you believe you are finally getting the whole picture suddenly you realise you were deceived once again. 

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