Parent and Child as Two Volcanoes Under One Roof (New York Times)

mommy poster 2015

New York Times film critic A. O. Scott reviews Xavier Dolan’s Mommy which opens in limited release today. From The New York Times,

The French-Canadian writer, director and actor Xavier Dolan is only 25, but “Mommy,” his fifth feature film in five years, seems like the work of an even younger filmmaker. I mean this, mostly, as a compliment. Stories of adolescence — young adult novels, coming-of-age movies, teenage-targeted television series — are usually the work of adults, and therefore often temper their emotional immediacy with nostalgia, condescension or grown-up wisdom. But “Mommy,” the story of a troubled young man and his mother, seethes and howls with unchecked feeling. Shot in the square, narrow dimensions of a cellphone video, it is a pocket opera of grandiose self-pity, a wild and uncompromising demand for attention, a cri de coeur from the selfie generation.

As such, it courts dismissal, misunderstanding and perhaps even anger. Why does this movie have to be so noisy? So needy? So inconsiderate of the needs of others? Can’t it, just for a minute, mind its manners, clean up its room and behave responsibly? But the film’s ability to provoke such strong negative sentiments and at the same time — even within the same viewer — equally strong feelings of sympathy, solidarity and identification is testament to Mr. Dolan’s talent. To take “Mommy” as an undisciplined outpouring of aggression and angst is to underestimate its artistry.

Read the full article at The New York Times.
Find Mommy in a theater near you.
Follow Xavier Dolan on Reel Charlie.


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