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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

‘Holy Motors’: The Bizarre and Delightful Escapades of a Mysterious Parisian Operative

“Holy Motors” (2012) is a enticing and wonderfully peculiar fantasy about a mysterious emissary named Oscar (Denis Lavant) who operates as an unconventional actor of sorts, performing a myriad of disparate roles within the real world of modern day Paris.

Transported throughout the French capital in a white limousine by his close personal associate Céline (Édith Scob), Oscar employs costumes, makeup and various props to transform himself from character to character, as he immerses himself in seemingly genuine circumstances. From a benign homeless woman to volatile red-haired madman, from a sleek mafia assassin to an elderly deathbed inhabitant, Oscar fulfills his covert assignments with zeal and aplomb, racing from one setting to another in an often frenzied race against time.

Written and directed by French filmmaker Leos Carax (“Mauvais Sang”, “Tokyo!”), “Holy Motors” is a bizarre, mischievous and stunningly original experiment in storytelling and cinematics. Carax has crafter a grand, alluring ode to the history of film, delivered as a pastiche of familiar tropes and unusual yet enticing sequences. Guaranteed to beguile and arouse to varying degrees, it’s pure unadulterated eccentricity at it’s very finest.


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