Leos Carax returns to cinema after a 13-year hiatus with Holy Motors, a brilliant, visually striking film that was one of the toasts of this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Surreal? Erratic? Mad? Daring? Those four words are a good start when it comes to describing Leos Carax's Holy Motors. It's only the writer/director's second film in 13 years, following 1999's Pola X, and here he's focusing on a single day in Paris. Moreover, we spend time in the company of Monsieur Oscar, played by regular Carax collaborator Denis Levant. Monsieur Oscar is a chameleon-like figure, who's being chauffeured around the city. And while travelling, he takes on the guise of many others, swiftly changing on board before heading off for his next appointment.
This puts a sizeable responsibility on the shoulders of Denis Levant, as the number of characters he's effectively inhabiting in Holy Motors hits double figures. The different guises, which vary dramatically, also allow Carax to shift the tone of the film a lot. The finished movie is wildly ambitious, as unpredictable as anything to hit the screen in 2012, and often, quite brilliant as well.
The disc features an interview with Leos Carax, as well as a collection of scenes that didn't eventually make the final cut of the movie. It's a decent package, to support a film that demonstrates the ongoing genius of its writer/director. If you've ever complained that films are just a little bit too predictable, then Holy Motors is even more of an unmissable movie.