****/**** Image B Sound B- Extras B
starring Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue
written and directed by Leos Carax
by Angelo Muredda It's no great shock that Holy Motors is innovative, coming from the same headspace as The Lovers on the Bridge and Mauvais Sang--movies that seemed fashioned out of whole cloth despite their indebtedness to names like David Bowie and Herman Melville. What's most surprising is that beneath the formal variety and cheekiness, mainstays of Leos Carax's freewheeling cinema, is a moving and altogether serious exploration of what it means to be an actor, in both a professional and a metaphysical sense. Carax's films have been ranked among the boldest aesthetic manifestos since the 1980s for good reason, yet the ineffable quality that distinguishes them from the superficially similar grandstanding of nascent stylists like Xavier Dolan is their deep sincerity and unabashed adoration of the eccentric city-dwellers who cross paths on the loneliest roads in urban France. If Holy Motors is even wilder in presentation than its predecessors, then, it's also perfectly legible within a body of work that's always found a human streak in the avant-garde.