Directed (and written) by: Xavier Dolan
Starring: Anne Dorval, Antoine-Olivier Pilon, Suzanne Clément
Also directed: I Killed My Mother, Heartbeats, and Laurence, Always
Sometimes, when you feel out of balance, when you’ve had a week of sleepless nights and you’re questioning everything and everyone, all you need is to watch a brilliant film that represents love and life as fucked up as it often is. In this subtitled French film, edgy director, Xavier Dolan, creates seamless transitions with music and visuals.
The film was so special, shot in a 1:1 aspect ratio, exceedingly troubled and scandalous characters, and the best ridiculous-90s-jams-filled soundtrack I’ve ever heard. These playful, almost corny jams, to me, make the film authentic and lovable – they give you moments of playfulness and joy within a very dark and troubling tale (i.e. this scene)
It starts with a text premise of a fictional 2015 Canada where they’ve passed a law that low-income parents can institutionalize their children with behavioral issues without going through the court system. Widowed mother, Die, decides to deinstitutionalize and take her violent son, Steve, home. The story follows the troubles in their relationship, a growing relationship with their neighbor, Kyla, and the sacrifices Die makes in order to keep her son.
The characters’ physical performances and dialogue flawlessly express the complexity in each of the relationships… Keeping us wondering, what happened to these people to make them act in these bazaar, emotionally charged ways?
This film got me excited to watch the rest of young Xavier Dolan’s work – in hopes that they all place you in the lives of people and premises you’ve never imagined with beautiful and interesting cinematography.