We follow a day in the life of Monsieur Oscar being driven around Paris in a white stretch limo by Céline (his driver and secretary), who ferries him around from one 'appointment' to another. To get full enjoyment from this film stop there and watch it. Anything else you read may spoil or confuse and may not be entirely accurate.
For those intrigued to know more... Each one of Oscar's appointments could be played as its own short film. We realise that the limo is full of masks, make-up and costumes for Oscar to change his appearance to fulfil his role at each appointment. Throughout the film he changes his character about ten times to be different people, these include an old beggar woman, a powerful business man, a dying millionaire, a murderer, a kidnapper, a CGI snake, an angry uncle and husband to a chimp family. The film doesn't explain what or why each of these appointments are carried out although the audience is given a few hints to form their own conclusions. However 'why' is really not the point here, accepting that he just does makes the experience much more enjoyable. It's simply amazing to watch our character step into a completely different role and make it convincing. The argument he has with his young niece (if it's actually his young niece) is sheer brilliance, but somewhat disturbing at the same time. The character is convincing but it's not clear what is real and what isn't. This is all down to Denis Lavant as our main character and Leos Carax for some superb direction. In addition we are treated to some short but touching set pieces by Eva Mendes and Kylie.
This is essentially an art-house film, but unlike unlike other such films this is full of comedy, some subtle and some proper laugh-out-loud moments. Meaning it never takes itself too seriously and never talks down to the audience. The audience is definitely a needed extension to this film, especially if you allow yourself to be drawn in and experience the journey.
This is certainly very Lynchian and recommended for any fans of his work. After leaving the cinema I was still very caught-up in the world that Carax had created. I had the same feeling after watching Inland Empire and to a certain extent Cosmopolis.
I tend to be a harsh critic, but I really can't think of anything I didn't like. Kylie dropped in a song which could have been cringe-worthy, but actually worked well. Even the talking limos were there as comedy value rather than to annoy. As for plot holes, not only would it be impossible to find one, but also rather pointless as this film goes beyond that conventional way of thinking.
This is art done well; more please!