FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
A cinematic chameleon of style, character, and emotion seemingly devoid of discernible plot but highly interpretative is the boldly bewildering Holy Motors (in French with English subtitles). One that might make an odd companion piece to David Cronenberg's recent, less capricious Cosmopolis.
Leo Carax's either irritating or devilishly delightfully unique artifice has his regular collaborator in Denis Lavant (Lovers on the Bridge) as Monsieur Oscar driven around Paris by his slender blonde assistant Celine (Edith Scob). The vivid freeform on view has Lavant committed to what amounts as series of parts which may include Oscar's own domestic situation.
A limousine is the Monsieur's dressing room that will have him disappearing into those donning a latex-suit often seen in the motion-capture process in some of kind of erotic video game, as well as a Leprechaun creature, as well as an ugly, bent woman begging for money on Parisian streets. Some of this weirdness drifts into the dreamy when it comes to a musical sequence or unsettling as a double has to be offed. He'll also become a kidnapper of a feckless supermodel and a parental figure to a disaffected teenager in the guise of a corporate businessman.
Through the appearance of one individual (Michael Piccoli) there is the notion that Oscar's shifting milieu is under closer watch in what might amount to a more pretentious version of The Truman Show. Something that the spry, sensibly elliptical filmmaking imparts in its various aspects is the substance and quality of action and interaction in daily life. Oscar may be reaching a weariness at this point in time connected from the strata numerously etched within not only the disturbing, but foreboding wit, wistfulness, and beauty done with certain vivid, punchy flair.
Around the dedicated professional in Lavant has Scob in solid form while diverse surprising (against-type) impressions are made by the likes of Kylie Minogue as a disconsolate vocalist and, especially, Eva Mendes as the aforementioned supermodel. Carax is able to turn curiosity on its head to some kind of wonderful maddening exploration appointed in its unpredictability but divisive indeed.