7.1/10
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128 user 347 critic

Holy Motors (2012)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy | 4 July 2012 (France)
Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of a mystic man named Monsieur Oscar.

Director:

Leos Carax

Writer:

Leos Carax (screenplay)
30 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denis Lavant ... Mr. Oscar / Le Banquier / La Mendiante / L'O.S de la Motion Capture / M. Merde / Le Père / L'Accordéoniste / Le Tueur / Le Tué / Le Mourant / L'Homme au Foyer
Edith Scob ... Céline (as Édith Scob)
Eva Mendes ... Kay M
Kylie Minogue ... Eva Grace (Jean)
Elise Lhomeau ... Léa (Élise)
Jeanne Disson Jeanne Disson ... Angèle
Michel Piccoli ... L'Homme à la tache de vin
Leos Carax ... Le Dormeur / Voix Limousine (as LC)
Nastya Golubeva Carax Nastya Golubeva Carax ... La Petite Fille
Reda Oumouzoune Reda Oumouzoune ... L'Acrobate Mocap
Zlata Zlata ... La Cyber-Femme
Geoffrey Carey Geoffrey Carey ... Le Photographe / Voix Limousine
Annabelle Dexter-Jones ... L'assistante photographe
Elise Caron Elise Caron
Corinne Yam Corinne Yam
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Storyline

In a dark movie theater filled with people watching a film. A man is sleeping on a bed with a sleeping dog next to another empty twin bed with the same sheets. He gets up and looks out the window and we see he is the man whose name is Mr. Oscar.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

France | Germany

Language:

French | English | Chinese

Release Date:

4 July 2012 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Sveti motori See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,866, 21 October 2012

Gross USA:

$641,100

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,954,125
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song playing at the party where Monsieur Oscar picks up his daughter is 'Can't Get You Out of My Head' by Kylie Minogue, who plays Eva Grace (Jean) later in the movie. See more »

Quotes

L'Homme à la tache de vin: What makes you carry on, Oscar?
Mr. Oscar: What made me start, the beauty of the act.
L'Homme à la tache de vin: Beauty? They say it's in the eye, the eye of the beholder.
Mr. Oscar: And if there's no more beholder?
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Katya, for you" with a picture of Yekaterina Golubeva during the closing credits. See more »

Connections

References Godzilla (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Can't Get You Out of My Head
Performed by Kylie Minogue
Written by Cathy Dennis and Rob Davis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Life is work. Art is work. Observing is work. Isn't that beautiful?
30 November 2012 | by JoshuaDysartSee all my reviews

The criticism I'm hearing most about "Holy Motors" is that it's about nothing. That it means nothing. That they - the unhappy viewer - needs more from their movies than random events strewn together without logic. As if the road to nowhere is not interesting in and of itself to them. It makes me wonder, why don't we expect our concept of narrative to be challenged more in the movies we consume? Why don't we put forth as much effort in confronting art, as the artist has put forth in confronting us?

"Holy Motors" is, to me, an act of filmic hypnosis. It made the cinema lover in me immediately and deeply happy from frame one (and not just because it references so much cinema of the past and critiques trends in the cinema of the present). I appreciate that film is not simply just another way of telling a story. Film is painting with light. It features human beings at play. It is design and photography and fashion and imagination. Of all the things cinema embraces... story is just a single element. So how did it become the MOST important element? Or, even more baffling to me, when did our idea of story itself become so tepid?

The story in "Holy Motors" is writ large. It scans like a modern myth. Like the oldest stories the human race tells. It features improbable and fantastical things happening along a journey. Its protagonist is a modern Ulysses trekking through the strange and fabled land of human experience, always searching for home. It is the only story ever told. And yet, again and again I hear people say that the movie has no narrative. No character they can connect to. No meaning.

Just because director Leos Carax is playful and tenuous with "meaning" doesn't mean it's not there. This is a film that is both about the drudgery and the exhilaration of creating for a living. It follows a day in the life of an artist. An artist always on the move. Sometimes that artist is tired, sometimes inspired, sometimes longing, sometimes exactly in the right place at the right time.

A friend I saw it with was bored. I still can't even understand how that's possible. Here's a movie in which anything can happen. In which any image can be juxtaposed with any other. In which the central architecture is not some obscuring three-act structure built out of a tired overplayed premise, but instead, is a careening litany of virtually every possible premise available. It readily teeters from overindulgent spectacle to tiny truth and back again as it explores, but never fusses over, the role of new technology in cinema, complications of identity, the strange job of acting for a living and so much more...

Most importantly though, the movie is about being on the job. The job of being human. Doing the work of being alive.

And we, the viewer, we work too. We work for meaning in the dark of the theater. We work to help fashion the story. To find the true character at the center of the experience. To understand where the human heart falls in all this flailing, anything-goes madness.

Life is work. Art is work. Observing is work. Isn't that beautiful?

"Cinema is a territory. It exists outside of movies. It's a place I live in. It's a way of seeing things, of experiencing life. But making films, that's supposed to be a profession." - Leos Carax


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