Xavier Dolan - C ou D?

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A search brings up a few scattered references throughout ILX, but it doesn't look like this guy is going away anytime soon, so how about his own thread? I'd been hesitant to check him out for a while--too much about his career reeked of novelty to me--but I finally caved and watched Tom at the Farm today. To my surprise, he's actually quite a skilled and impressive filmmaker; on the basis of this picture, at least, he seems like someone incapable of making an uninteresting shot, and this might be the very best *looking* recent-ish movie I've seen in a while (it was shot on film, I think?).

As a story, though, this felt suspiciously like a first draft. My biggest (**spoiler-ish**) problem is that the character of the brother was presented as a raving psychopath from the moment he's introduced, and as the film is about (or *seems* to be about, at least) the Dolan character's attraction/repulsion to this character, credibility is stretched too early and too often. Even if I accept that an out-and-proud young gay urbanite might temporarily fall for this guy under the spell of mourning, the late introduction of a woman who, in one moment, dishes back the creep's abuse and then, in another, is (possibly) hooking up with him is downright insulting. Ultimately, the film, as someone said elsewhere on the board, ends up making very little psychological sense.

So, I dunno, maybe he needs to try directing someone else's scripts? Or at least getting a less stupid hairstyle.

That shit right there is precedented. (cryptosicko), Saturday, 14 February 2015 02:54 (nine years ago) link

i did not like Tom, but Mommy is even worse

touch of a love-starved cobra (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 14 February 2015 02:58 (nine years ago) link

The local critics have raved about Mommy, which is like a Droopy Dog cartoon next to Murmur of the Heart.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 14 February 2015 03:01 (nine years ago) link

mommy is one of the best films ever imo

flopson, Saturday, 14 February 2015 03:12 (nine years ago) link

altho i wouldnt necessarily expect ppl outside of quebec to get his films

flopson, Saturday, 14 February 2015 03:13 (nine years ago) link

haha c'est preemptif

touch of a love-starved cobra (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 14 February 2015 03:25 (nine years ago) link

Somewhat on Alfred's point, one thing that was in my mind while watching Tom at the Farm was the bad timing of releasing another, vastly inferior queer-themed French-language thriller around the same time as Stranger by the Lake.

That shit right there is precedented. (cryptosicko), Saturday, 14 February 2015 04:06 (nine years ago) link

I have a friend who is from Quebec. I'll ask if she rates this guy or gets this because from what I've seen I am still unsure as to why Dolan has been allowed out of the house.

The Lumiere are running a retrospective.


xyzzzz__, Saturday, 14 February 2015 09:59 (nine years ago) link

Which is like when some young worthless celeb comes out with an autobiog or something.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 14 February 2015 10:00 (nine years ago) link

genuinely surprised you guys find him "worthless!" he is stuipidly young though

i had never considered before that non-quebs wouldn't like his films but hearing morbs & alfred say they don't like them made me realise there is a lot of regional specificity. does the s1ock like his films? i haven't seen tom at the farm. i watched mommy with my girlfriend who is francophone and grew up in a similar suburban lower-middle class single mother household and she was dying in laughter at simple lines like "pass the creton" and at other moments was like, bawling in the theatre.

it's been too long since i saw jai tué ma mere so i'll re-screen before i sing its praise but mommy is just untouchable imo. best thing about it was the warmth of the friendship between mother, son, and neighbor. the way it swung from the creepiness of the abusive episode and the son's come-ons during the neighbor's first visits to him warming up to trust them and the ensuing romps they shared. the emotional arc was pitch perfect, too. yes, it had to have the *spoiler* tragic ending *end spoiler* *actually, spoilers throughout* but it didn't go there too soon and really dwelled on the good times in a really life-affirming way. there's probably a slate article arguing the exact opposite of this but i thought the way it treated his hyperactive disorder was great. my step-brother was kind of a similar case; beautiful, charming kid, super magnetic, but who got kicked out out of two high schools and constantly got into fights. and a lot of my memories of growing up with him weren't sad shitty moments, they were super fun. i would kind of ride his hyperactive spurts with him, allow myself to go there with him. i think the way the film captured how it's fun up until a threshold where it gets ugly was really true, to my xp at least. finally, aesthetically it was a masterpiece imo. it made a fucking longeuil suburb into the setting of a touching art film. it made me tear up to fucking oasis. i've read in media & from people who have had acquaintances with him that xav is actually a pretty cheezy guy who grew up in a lower-class family and is emblematic of that tranche of quebec society*, not some rich film school snob as i would have otherwise guessed. and i think he really turned it into a beautiful work of art without shortchanging it in any way

*one friend worked at a really fancy cheese shop where, like, the mayor and the bronfmans shopped, said he would frequently come in with his partner and ask to sample all the cheapest cheeses, basically stuff you could get at any grocery store but they stocked there just because, and would like, rave and describe each one in highest praise

flopson, Saturday, 14 February 2015 17:45 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

Saw Mommy at local theatre yesterday, one of the best movies I've seen this year. Strong performances, convincing characters, great visual style, nuanced treatment of subject matter, good use of soundtrack etc. Flopson otm re arc. Was almost crying at the end. Very youthful film. Liked the sentimental approach to storytelling (as opposed to analytical) a bit more emotionally associative editing than a rational/causal focus, somewhat reminiscent of Boyhood but really just similar to a lot of contemporary "indie" cinema.

niels, Thursday, 9 April 2015 16:13 (nine years ago) link

anyone seen Laurence Anyways? As a new QC resident I am curious about Dolan, and it's on netflix.

suggest ignore (rob), Thursday, 9 April 2015 16:32 (nine years ago) link

Niels OTM on all points. I went to see "Mommy" prepared to hate it. Was my first Dolan. Really impressed me.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 9 April 2015 17:00 (nine years ago) link

I thought Laurence Anyways was great. One of the better love stories I've seen in a movie.

silverfish, Thursday, 9 April 2015 19:12 (nine years ago) link

I watched Heartbeats again, and there's so much to like about it -- the way he captures what it's like to dress like your icons, to smoke a lot of cigarettes without regret, his use of deep focus in the midst of frivolity -- that I wish it were better. At any rate it's a better debut than I Killed My Mother.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 April 2015 00:02 (nine years ago) link

i.e he's still the sum of his influences. Forgot my beloved Louis Garrel is in it, in a fabulous last sequence.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 April 2015 00:03 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I've only seen two: Heartbeats is cute, but empty, and Laurence Anyways is amazing. (I'm not from Quebec.)

I'm sort of cautiously eager to see Mommy.

Cherish, Monday, 27 April 2015 15:27 (nine years ago) link

I'm watching it again tomorrow.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 27 April 2015 15:30 (nine years ago) link

I put a hold on Mommy at the library despite my tepid reaction to Tom at the Farm, because I still kinda want to like this guy. Queer Canadian solidarity, I suppose.

The New Gay Sadness (cryptosicko), Monday, 27 April 2015 16:02 (nine years ago) link

I saw it again: it's got enough powerful bits such that if someone wants to call it a masterpiece of something or other I won't quibble. But it's (as usual) grueling, and, boy, do his people shout a lot.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 29 April 2015 23:59 (nine years ago) link

I won't quibble either, i will just throw the maker of such a claim down the stairs.

the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Friday, 1 May 2015 01:11 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

think i'm gonna stop giving this guy any more chances. every single scene in the new one goes on about two-three minutes longer than it ought to, and i know it's an adaptation of play so he didn't write but the script is just terrible. he has all of these top-shelf actors and he makes all of them just unbearable (cotillard and cassel especially, argh). ulliel's got a lovely face, but looks aren't everything and even at 90 minutes this was just a sloooooooog

donna rouge, Monday, 14 November 2016 17:40 (seven years ago) link

three months pass...

Watching this thing in a couple hours. Wish me luck.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 5 March 2017 19:38 (seven years ago) link

damn mommy was really good

johnny crunch, Monday, 6 March 2017 01:39 (seven years ago) link

& i felt v neutral abt laurence / tom, didnt see any earlier ones

johnny crunch, Monday, 6 March 2017 01:57 (seven years ago) link

nine months pass...

It's Only the End of the World affirms my earlier suspicion that he is a talented director who needs better scripts. The concluding one-two punch of some punishingly literal magic realism (at least I think that's what he was going for) and the Moby song were particularly eye-rolling.

iCloudius (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 20 December 2017 01:28 (six years ago) link

eight months pass...

Despite my frustration with Dolan in the past, I'm intrigued by the premise of his latest, even if the reviews seem to be warning me not to get too excited:


Engles in the Outfield (cryptosicko), Monday, 17 September 2018 02:31 (five years ago) link

My friends hated it, and they're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He's good in Boy Erased, though, so maybe this talented pretty boy should pull a John Cassavetes and develop his finely gelled hostility as an actor.

The Silky Veils of Alfred (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 17 September 2018 02:35 (five years ago) link

still, I'm looking forward to it. His last film It's Only the End of the World got trashed by the critics and I wasn't expecting much, but I really enjoyed it

Dan S, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 21:11 (five years ago) link

I keep forgetting that I saw it.

Engles in the Outfield (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 22:51 (five years ago) link

six months pass...

hard to believe Dolan made I Killed My Mother when he was only 20 years old

Dan S, Wednesday, 10 April 2019 01:54 (five years ago) link

it was the marketing hook

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 17:46 (five years ago) link

interesting to see the progression from I Killed My Mother to Heartbeats

I like Dolan's idea with Heartbeats that "we conceptualize love and fall for ideas, not people.”

Dan S, Monday, 15 April 2019 23:05 (five years ago) link

strikes me how good an actor Dolan is

Dan S, Monday, 15 April 2019 23:58 (five years ago) link

John F Donovan is apparently scandalously bad. Did it ever find a distributor?

Simon H., Tuesday, 16 April 2019 04:03 (five years ago) link

Looking on IMDB - after TIFF last September, it was only just released in Italy and France last month, nowhere else, It must be bad

Dan S, Tuesday, 16 April 2019 23:53 (five years ago) link

eh I'd make out with him

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 17 April 2019 00:15 (five years ago) link

two years pass...

boy, his new film is his worst yet

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 21 June 2021 19:51 (two years ago) link

Matthias & Maxime? i kinda loved it... reminded me of quebecois bros i grew up with

flopson, Monday, 21 June 2021 20:04 (two years ago) link

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