The young director strikes back with his fifth movie, Mommy, a heartbreaking scenario that leaves nobody insensitive, featuring Anne Dorval, Suzanne Clément and Antoine-Olivier Pilon.
We are monday night and the movie theater is full for the evening representation of Mommy, at Cinéma Beaubien. It goes by itself; Xavier Dolan’s movies arouse curiosity, even if it polarizes opinions and discussions. It is also the case for his fifth scenario, as it has been selected to represent Canada in the run for best foreign movie for the 2014 Academy Awards.
I must admit that I have interest for Xavier Dolan’s movies since his beginning, from J’ai tué ma mère (2009), to Les Amours Imaginaires (2010), to Laurence Anyways (2012) and recently to Tom à la ferme (2013). The director’s signature can be recognized very fast in all movies. The 80s and 90s music takes a huge place and it carries us throughout the scenario. The slow motion add emotion on some particular scenes. The themes chosen, often difficult to see or hear, are always shared by many of us. I like to poll my friends when we are talking about Xavier Dolan to know what movie had the most impact on them. That’s the beauty of the thing; everybody sees his movies from a different angle.
But what is the place of Mommy (2014) in all of this?
As I am writing these lines, I don’t even know yet. I gave myself a couple of days to settle the things I’ve seen. Mommy‘s theme hasn’t been approached by the director before (if we put aside the mother-and-son relationship often at the center of his scenarios), the violence. Diane’s character (Anne Dorval) get her 16 years old son’s custody (Antoine-Olivier Pilon), following his ejection from a youth education center. With the help or their neighbor Kyla (Suzanne Clément), Diane will try to educate her son at home in a supportive family environment, sometimes stormy, but always filled with love. Mommy shows us painfull scenes, required from a cinematographic point of view, but also fun scenes where all characters dance on a Celine Dion tune in their kitchen. The soundtrack is really pop compared to his previous movies, and the story brings us to think if it is possible to help, educate or even change a son that has a deep ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) filled with violence, and treat it with the maternal love of a woman with limited ressources. The movie ending will let you answer this question by yourself.
I still don’t know where Mommy will be in my Xavier Dolan’s billboard but one thing is sure, nobody leaves the theater insensitive. A heartbreaking scenario, a remarkable Anne Dorval, and a young Antoine-Olivier Pilon that brings an amazing credibility to the main movie character. This film has the perfect mix to climb the stairway to success.
Movie technical sheet
September 19th, 2014