mommyXavier Dolan’s fifth film, Mommy unleashes a devastating look at dysfunctional families, emotional crises, emotional and mental illness and grief. Not an easy film to watch for its story, Dolan masterfully balances the heavy nature of the subject with cinematic moments of beautiful abandon. In-between break-downs, fits of rage, collapse, each character discovers bliss. And however brief, we the audience hold on to that feeling, bravely cheering them on in their hopeless world. Anne Dorval is a tour de force in the title role as Die (Diane) – Mommy. Joining her on the journey are Antoine-Olivier Pilon as her broken son Steve and Suzanne Clément as their neighbor Kyla who breaks through the crises and reaches the two of them giving them the nurturing they need. Clément’s Kyla proves good for both Steve and Die – a maternal figure to both while she avoids repairing her own broken family. Gorgeous cinematography thanks to André Turpin who worked with Dolan on his previous film, Tom at the Farm and on Dolan’s next project It’s Only the End of the World. And of course Dolan himself wrote, produced, directed and edited Mommy. In awe of this 27 year-old filmmaker who is finishing his seventh feature film in 2016. He also managed to direct Adele’s Hello last year. Unreal. Mommy is gorgeous, heartbreaking, and I didn’t even talk about his decision to frame most of the film in 1:1 ratio. From The Hollywood Reporter,

“People have been trying to intellectualize the heck out of this,” Dolan tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I just wanted to shoot portrait aspect ratio that would allow me to be very close to characters, avoid distractions to the left and right of the frame and have the audience look the characters right in the eye.”

Mommy feels like the kind of movie that will haunt me for a long time. I’m glad I own it so I can explore it some more in the near future. 5 out of 5.

Read Reel Charlie’s thread on Xavier Dolan.


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