Holy Motors, Leos Carax, 115mins (18)
Starring: Denis Lavant, Edith Scob
Has madcap visionary Leos Carax found in Holy Motors his va-va-voom or is he on a long ride to nowhere? It's quite a puzzler. The film is a fractured dream of an odyssey through Paris, undertaken in a white stretch limo a la Cronenberg's recent Cosmopolis.
Denis Lavant plays M. Oscar, a protean passenger who uses his back seat as a dressing-room of disguises, playing businessman, beggar, assassin, victim, family man, old woman – it's like Mr Benn back there. In the most antic and violent sequence, he's an orally-fixated leprechaun who kidnaps a glamour model (Eva Mendes) and carries her off to his lair, a twanging erection in full view.
Ferrying M. Oscar about the place is his chauffeur, a chic older lady named Celine (Edith Scob), the steady centre of this fast-dissolving fugue. There is a sense that Carax is simply taking us where his fancy leads him; these are vignettes rather than linked chapters, their only connection the strange, satyr-like presence of Lavant in his various personas.
What does it all mean? Damned if I know, though its conjuring of different identities could be an allusion to past lives, or to the chaos of a schizoid personality, shattering into pieces. It's not a film so much as a spell, and however enigmatic or opaque it becomes you feel it working – worming – its way into your head.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Amy Winehouse film director: 'I wanted to show the fun, bright-eyed girl we didn't know'
Wireless 2015: Nicki Minaj 2 hours late to main stage due to 'travel issues'
Game of Thrones season 6: Director Jack Bender hints showrunners 'communicate closely' with George RR Martin
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Family Guy, BBC2 - review: The Simpsons crossover highlights gulf between the cartoons
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture