Magazine article The Spectator

Hall of Mirrors

Magazine article The Spectator

Hall of Mirrors

Article excerpt

At f i r st glance , Ho ly Mo to rs i s a l l about one astonishing performance - or several, depending on how you look at it. The performance in question is by Denis Lavant, who plays M. O sca r, a blank page o f a man who scribbles over himself w ith make-up and w igs to por t ray a succes sion o f d i f ferent cha racter s .

At the film's outset he is a Parisian businessman, leaving his home in a limousine to do battle with the markets. Soon after, he is an old beggar woman, a sex robot sheathed in rubber, a gangster, a father and more . We never rea l ly know why he does this beyond - in his own words - 'the beauty of the act'.

But then, look closer, and there's more going on. Is it any coincidence that M. O sca r i s a cha in-smoker, much like Holy Motors' director Leos Carax? Or that Carax himself appears in a prologue to the film, awakening from sleep into a cinema? …

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