Review – Holy Motors

In most art galleries around the world there is one giant canvas that someone has painted blue. Anyone can slather paint over a canvas, so why has this painting earned wall space and respect over someone who accidentally spilt a paint can over the floor of their garage? Art is forever open to interpretation and that painting might mean the world to someone or an accident to others but you take what you want away from the experience. ‘Holy Motors’ is a “blue canvas” film that requires you to open your mind only for the filmmaker to fart into it.

For 24 hours Monsieur Oscar (Denis Lavant) travels the streets of Paris in a limo going to several different appointments.

Lavant is an absolute powerhouse in ‘Holy Motors’ delivering one of the year’s best performances. He does more in one film than most actors do in their entire career that may be a slight jibe by writer/director Leos Carax at the level of talent on display in most mainstream films.

Carax continues to explore this idea of cinema in disrepute throughout ‘Holy Motors’ (that’s a theory) via a series of episodes or appointments that go from kooky, to crazy, to completely nuts. It feels like Carax is trying to make the point that life is the greatest performance of all and filmmakers have forgotten how to properly capture the human experience on film. It’s a bold undertaking but the narrative is loose, indulgent and completely baffling at different points. It does tickle the brain but thoughts of lost time outweigh anything deeper.

‘Holy Motors’ will mean different things to different people but for me it’s a Tour de Wank.


‘Holy Motors’ is released:

23 August 2012 Australia

28 September 2012 UK

Cameron Williams
The Popcorn Junkie