Holy Motors

Enfant terrible Leos Carax triumphs with a captivating and provocative spectacle, imbued with admiration for Paris, film history and Kylie Minogue's singing.

Holy Motors
France 2012
  • Czech
115 min.

After a thirteen-year lull Leos Carax, the enfant terrible of French film, got triumphally back. In a film that many had tipped for 2012 Palme d’Or at Cannes, the director’s faithful partner Denis Lavant embodies the mysterious Monsieur Oscar, who in the course of a single day assumes a whole range of identities in a disturbing "performance” in front of invisible cameras. "What makes you carry on?” asks his boss, played by Michel Piccoli. "The beauty of the act,” replies Lavant’s chame­leonesque hero in what could be a paraphrase of Carax’s own creative creed, which he has shared with us in a mere five films over nearly thirty years. His characteristically anguished romantic vision is combined with a provocative playfulness and a veneration of some of the more bizarre milestones of cinema (among them Georges Franju’s Les yeux sans visage). Woven into this bewitching spectacle is a love of Paris (watching helplessly as the legendary Samaritaine department store goes into terminal decline), the vanishing world of the limousine, and the songs of Kylie Minogue.

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Director: Leos Carax
Screenplay: Leos Carax
Cinematography: Yves Cape, Caroline Champetier
Sound: Erwan Kerzanet, Katia Boutin, Josefina Rodríguez, Emmanuel Croset
Editing: Nelly Quettier
Production Design: Florian Sanson
Producer: Martine Marignac, Albert Prévost, Maurice Tinchant
Co-production: Rémi Burah
Costumes: Anaïs Romand
Cast: Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue, Michel Piccoli

Cannes Film Festival

2012 – Leos Carax (Award of the Youth)

Cahiers du Cinéma

2012 – Leos Carax (Best Film)

Chicago International Film Festival

2012 – Leos Carax (Best International Feature)

Chicago International Film Festival

2012 – Yves Cape, Caroline Champetier (Best Cinematography)

Chicago International Film Festival

2012 – Denis Lavant (Best Actor)

Sitges Film Festival

2012 – Leos Carax (Best Motion Picture)

Sitges Film Festival

2012 – Leos Carax (Best Director)

Sitges Film Festival

2012 – Leos Carax (José Luis Guarner Critic's Award)

Sitges Film Festival

2012 – Leos Carax (Grand Prize of European Fantasy Film in Silver)