Skip to content

Holy Motors



When you watch “Holy Motors,” you will try to figure out what it is about.  You will try to find some unifying construct that makes all the parts into a whole, something that makes everything make sense.  You will come up with various theories, all of which will fit almost all the parts – but never all of them.  There will always be one or two unexplainable things that blow your theory to bits.  You will either find this exhilarating or frustrating.

Denis Lavant plays a character, or a series of characters, in a number of vignettes that are mostly unrelated to each other.  Between the vignettes, he gets into a stretch limo, reads a dossier on his next character, and puts on costume and makeup necessary to play the part.  He plays everything from a single father picking his daughter up from a party to an assassin to a weirdly deformed, red-bearded freak who interrupts a fashion shoot by kidnapping the model, who doesn’t seem to mind.

Frankly, I don’t think there is a unifying theme.  I think Leos Carax has made a series of short films that are vaguely related to each other — thematically, visually, tonally, however — and bundled them all together and called it a feature film.  I think it defies explanation or categorization because that is the nature of art, and/or life – there is no simple, unifying theory that explains everything.  I think he wants you to try, and fail, to explain it all.  Maybe that’s the point of “Holy Motors.”  If it wasn’t such an entertaining, captivating film, if the individual shorts weren’t so strong, it would be awfully pretentious and pretentiously awful.  As it is, it’s pretty fun to watch, even if you’ll never really figure out what it is you just watched.


Be Sociable, Share!

Posted in All Reviews. Tagged with , , , , , , , .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

(never shared)

or, reply to this post via trackback.