Best of 2012: Holy Motors

Every so often a film comes along so completely bonkers it completely defies categorization. Leos Carax’s Holy Motors is perhaps the epitome of this kind of cinema; a heady, surreal, often unfathomable journey through the parallel lives of a strange man known only as “Le Dormeur” (Denis Levant, star of Claire Denis’s exceptional film Beau Travail and this great UNKLE music video) as he heads from one bizarre “appointment” to another in a limousine.

Making sense of it all and trying to grasp a narrative soon becomes subordinate to the compelling flow of imagery as “Le Dormeur” transforms himself into various eccentric characters, from old crone and sewer troll to gangster and dying old man. It is as much a commentary of the art of acting and the fulfilment of roles as it is an homage to cinema; an endlessly inventive kaleidoscope of fractured lives played out on the Parisian stage. It’s one of those rare films truly deserving of the expression “a cinematic tour de force“.


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