Film: Holy Motors

Holy Motors is a 2012 Franco-German fantasy drama written and directed by Leos Carax, starring Denis Lavant, Édith Scob and Kylie Minogue (in a small part).

Lavant plays Mr. Oscar, a man not unlike an actor who inhabits several roles, but there are no apparent cameras filming the man's performances.


This film provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Truth in Television, assuming it was shot on location.
  • Beard of Evil: The gnome has one.
  • Beast and Beauty: Discussed and played straight in M. Merde's story, where the gnome kidnaps the supermodel.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Taken literally by M. Merde and his hunger for everything.
  • Deconstruction: Of film in general, and of daily life too.
    • The main character is an actor.
    • His 'deaths' are fake as he has no problem living onward normally after getting stabbed in the neck with a switchblade and later the same night getting shot in the chest several times while entirely shirtless.
    • He goes through several intense moments such as killing a man, witnessing the aftermath of an old friend's death minutes after talking to her, dying from old age with his 'niece' (another actor) by his side, and biting a woman's finger off. Aside from taking a few minutes to himself and having a drink, he is not affected by these events at all. The film itself presents them in an absurd "I don't care" way wherein such things are actually funnier than they are dramatic.
    • He is driven around in a limo and appears to live a life of luxury, judging by his house and small collection of high-end automobiles.
    • Oh yes, his name is "Oscar," an important name in the filmmaking industry.
    • In the final scenes of Oscar's, his "family" isn't a human wife and child, but chimpanzees.
    • After all the limo drivers leave the cars in the car barn for the night, the cars have a conversation with each other about getting older, retirement (possibly forced), and not being desired any more.
    • The lead character "actor" is just as believable in his 'real' interactions with people as he is in his 'in-character' interactions. Do we not all play characters in this life, to many of the people we meet (or, do we treat them as simple, flat characters when we interact with them?)?
    • The movie alludes to all these 'heavy' ideas, but takes it all in stride, even laughing at the matter.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The film plays out within the course of 24 hours.
  • Fingore: The gnome's appetite for fingers comes as a surprise to the casting agent.
  • Gainax Ending: Chimpanzees cast in human roles and talking cars.
  • Genre-Busting: The film is a collage of different genres.
    • Sci-Fi: Motion capture sequence
    • Thriller: Two episodes are about hitman activity
    • Musical: Kylie Minogue's singing part
    • Drama: The father/daughter episode and the old man dying
  • Identical Stranger: It's not clear, whether the banker was supposed to be a doppelganger.
    • Also the guy in the warehouse, that Mr. Oscar kills and makes over to look like his own character.
  • Le Film Artistique: Almost to the point of deconstruction.
  • Loads and Loads of Roles: Denis Lavant plays eleven roles in this film.
  • Mind Screw: The Movie.
  • Not Quite Dead: The guy in the warehouse who was stabbed in the neck by Mr. Oscar.
  • Title Drop: The neon sign towards the end.