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Anne Dorval and Antoine-Olivier Pilon in Mommy

Mommy - taking care of your really, really, really difficult son..

burnsting burnsting Editor-in-chief Canadian director Xavier Dolan delivers his fifth film at the age of just 25. And again, it's an impressive piece of work.

Mommy follows Diane Despr├ęs (Die) and her son Steve. Her husband (and his father) passed away a long time ago, and Steve has been diagnosed with several mental disorders (among ADHD). Not allowed to stay at his current institution, Die has to make the choice to send Steve to a detention center or take him home and care for him herself.

Prix du Jury (Jury Prize): 'Mommy' directed by Xavier Dolan

Not all that dramatic

It all sounds very doom and gloom, but Mommy isn't as dramatic as it all sounds. Steve, although very LOUD and out there, is a pretty charismatic guy. You can tell he loves his mother. You can tell he has problems with most other people, especially the men interested in his mother. And you can see why there is no one who can take care of him..

Mommy, kiss on the hand
Mommy, kiss on the hand

Temper, temper

This becomes extremely clear when he loses his temper and Die has to lock herself in a closet, fearing her life. But then the most remarkable thing happens. A shy neighbor appears in their lives, and things start to change..

By now it should be apparent Mommy is a rollercoaster of emotions. Director Xavier Dolan has found a nice balance between the heavy and light moments. And it isn't artificial either, because we can all understand difficult children can be fun to be around too. It's a pretty brilliantly observed view on the life of a single mother trying to do the best for her very, very difficult son.

Steve and Kyla doing homework - Mommy
Steve and Kyla doing homework - Mommy

Cut off screen

In the film there's some trickery with the screen that wasn't needed in my opinion — only about half of the screen is visible throughout most of the film, which has a point, but well, it's a bit like watching an iPhone recording. But apart from that, this is a must-see for any fan of hard-hitting, though slightly charming foreign films.

Story8
Cast9
Depth8
Characters9
Gimmick6
Director Xavier Dolan filming Mommy
Director Xavier Dolan filming Mommy

Posted in Mommy,

burnsting burnsting Editor-in-chief

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