Holy Motors

Movie review by Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media
Holy Motors Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 17+

French drama is mature and strange, but also sad and lovely.

NR 2012 115 minutes

Parents say

age 16+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 17+

Based on 2 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Holy Motors (2012) Review by Shivom Oza - Awe-striking, Awe-inspiring, Awe-some

The film, Holy Motors, directed by Leos Carax, competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. It revolves around a day in the life of Monsier Oscar. Denis Lavant is terrific as the maverick Monsieur Oscar. Not often do you find an actor, who embodies such versatility in his range. The make-up department deserves special mention. Direction and writing par excellence! The film was screened at the 14th Mumbai Film Festival under the 'Rendezvous With French Cinema' category. Monsieur Oscar (Denis Lavant) is man of many moods and faces. He is shows as someone whose 'profession' is to transform from one character to another. So, he is shown as a businessman, an assassin, a beggar, a monster and even a mutant (somewhat!). It is never made clear through the running of the film as to what Oscar's motives are. He is chauffeured around by an elderly, gentle lady who is doing her job of keeping her master safe. The two move around Paris running one assignment after another. The so-called assignments range from amusing to absurd. You have Oscar and a woman shown fornicating, albeit with their latex body suits on. There's another sequence wherein Oscar is supposed to kill a former accomplice Theo. Following the stabbing, he makes Theo's corpse appear exactly like him so as to make it look like his assassination. However, it does not go as planned and what you have is two Oscars lying on the floor in a pool of blood. There's one particular sequence in which Oscar is shown playing the accordion, and subsequently being joined by an orchestra. This particular instrumental is stupendous and the way it has been shot is mind-blowing. The story of the film is not linear. There are different interpretations that you can extract out of this French masterpiece. However, at no point does the film get tiring. It does get confusing, albeit pleasantly confusing! If that's an emotion! The performances given by the lead actor and the rest of the supporting cast are marvellous. The make-up is out-of-this-world. The cinematography deserves special mention as do the special effects team. Don't take this film too literally. Sit back, relish the proceedings. Once the film's over, give a long thought about what it's trying to convey. It has many connotations - political, man vs machine, religion v/s science. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as someone in the film says. Apt for the film itself! It's a different kind of film alright, but it is one that you should watch! Shivom Oza

This title has:

Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • The Tree of Life Poster Image

    The Tree of Life

    Unique, difficult, poetic masterpiece about life and death.

    age 14+
  • Cosmopolis Poster Image


    Intense, brilliant, and complex, but not for Twilight fans.

    age 17+
  • Somewhere Poster Image


    Exceptional but mature Hollywood story.

    age 17+

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate