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From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the life of Monsieur Oscar, a shadowy character who journeys from one life to the next. He is, in turn, captain of industry, assassin, beggar, monster, family man...
For more about Holy Motors and the Holy Motors Blu-ray release, see Holy Motors Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on February 9, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.
Starring: Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Denis Lavant, Kylie Minogue, Jeanne Disson, Michel Piccoli
Director: Leos Carax
» See full cast & crew
Holy Motors Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, February 9, 2013
Leos Carax's "Holy Motors" (2012) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye. The supplemental features on the disc include the film's original Cannes Film Festival trailer; a gallery of deleted scenes; and a very long conversation with director Leos Carax recorded after his film was screened at the Locarno Film Festival. In French, with imposed English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
The man (Denis Lavant, Lovers on the Bridge) quietly exits the lavish suburban house and heads to the white limousine waiting for him. Behind him, from the house's large terrace his wife and children wave goodbye to him. He quickly turns around and also waves to them. Then, looking incredibly pleased, he gets in the limousine and lights a cigarette. A few seconds later, the man nonchalantly asks his driver, a stylish mature woman, if he has many appointments. The answer is nine.
What happens next in Holy Motors, director Leos Carax's first feature film since his acclaimed Pola X (1999), cannot be described with simple words. It is the ultimate cinematic journey a film can deliver which has to be experienced in order to be — possibly — understood. In it fantasy and reality merge into a series of incredible short stories that are united by the presence of the man mentioned earlier. In one of them he is a strange looking beggar on the streets of Paris, in another he is an extra in an ultra-modern film with wacky CGI effects, and in another he is a dying millionaire haunted by his past. Even the evil Mr. Merde from Carax's segment in Tokyo! makes a special appearance.
After Holy Motors premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year some critics immediately compared it to the films of David Lynch, but I can't see any similarities. Holy Motors is a unique entity, a film that constantly evolves without imitating other films. There are select themes in it — such as the idea that progress and modernity have completely destroyed our ability to function and recognize each other as individuals — that have appeared in some form in other films, but their use and presentation are completely new. Holy Motors is structured in a way that never completely locks visuals with messages, allowing one to interpret each of its stories in a variety of different ways.
A film this unpredictable and impossible to categorize can spur only two kinds of reactions — complete admiration or total annoyance. No one will remain indifferent because no other film in recent years, and even not so recent years, has taken its audience on such a wild journey. So, one would at least think about it after the final credits roll. Some viewers will likely even end up seeing Holy Motors again to make sure that they get Carax's hypnotic film. Well, maybe this isn't such a bad idea, but remember this: in Holy Motors the journey is a lot more important than the final destination.
Lavant, without a doubt one of the most underrated European actors, is extraordinary in Holy Motors, a true magician with an endless bag of tricks. His facial expressions and moves throughout the film ought to be studied by young actors. There are also notable cameos by Edith Scob, whose final scene pays tribute to another unusual French film in which she appeared some fifty two years ago, Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face, Eva Mendes, who plays a stunningly beautiful supermodel that captivates Mr. Merde's imagination, and Kylie Minogue, who reunites with her ex-lover in an abandoned movie theater.
Lensed by Caroline Champetier (Of Gods and Men), who also collaborated with Carax for his segment in Tokyo, Holy Motors looks simply stunning. The clarity and detail during the nighttime footage, in particular, is enormously impressive. The daylight footage is also notably crisp and vibrant. (Holy Motors was shot with the Red Epic Camera).
Note: Last year, Holy Motors was screened at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won Award of the Youth (Leos Carax). Earlier this year, the film also won Best Actor Award (Denis Lavant) at the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.
Holy Motors Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Leos Carax's Holy Motors arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye.
Shot with the Red Epic Camera, Holly Motors looks mighty impressive on Blu-ray. Large portions of the film take place at night, or in areas where light is severely restricted, but image depth is consistently terrific. The footage from inside the abandoned theater at the end of the film where Mr. Oscar and Eva Grace meet, in particular, looks great, despite the fact that there is little light. Elsewhere the daylight footage looks crisp and beautifully detailed (see screencapture #10). Excluding the CG footage early into the film, colors are rich and stable but also natural looking. Contrast fluctuates as the action moves from one location to another, but there are no anomalies to report in this review. Compression is also very good. To sum it all up, this is yet another excellent presentation of a contemporary film courtesy of the folks at Artificial Eye. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Holy Motors Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and French LPCM 2.0. For the record, Artificial Eye have provided imposed English subtitles for the main feature (they cannot be turned off).
Holy Motors is one of only a few films I have seen recently where even though dynamic intensity is limited, the mixing is simply terrific. What this means is that if you enjoy rich soundtracks with a wide range of nuanced dynamics, you will be impressed by the lossless 5.1 track. There are sequences in the film where a casual sound/noise changes dramatically the atmosphere. The light background music that occasionally makes its presence felt also sounds terrific. The dialog is crisp, clean, stable, and easy to follow.
Holy Motors Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Holy Motors Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Wild, funny, confusing and utterly unpredictable, Leos Carax's Holy Motors is the best film I saw in 2012. I am convinced that its cult status is assured. Now that Holy Motors has finally arrived on Blu-ray, I urge you to also find the time to see it. I cannot guarantee that you will like it as much as I did, but I can guarantee that you will talk about it after you experience it. Artificial Eye's presentation of the film is excellent. Their Blu-ray also features a long and very informative conversation with director Carax recorded at the Locarno Film Festival. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. (Note: If you reside in North America, please keep in mind that U.S. distributors Indomina Releasing will have their Blu-ray release on the market on February 26th. See our listing here).
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Holy Motors Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Holy Motors Blu-ray - November 16, 2012
Indomina Releasing and Vivendi Entertainment will release on Blu-ray director Leos Carax's Holy Motors (2012), starring Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue, and Michel Piccoli. The preliminary release date set by the distributors is February 26 ...
• Leos Carax's Holy Motors Gets UK Release Date - September 24, 2012
Independent British distributors Artificial Eye have revealed that they are planning to bring director Leos Carax's Holy Motors (2012), starring Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue, and Michel Piccoli. The preliminary release date set by the distributors ...
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