Directed by Xavier
From 20th March 2015
This is a truly wonderful film, impressively directed by 26-year-old
French-Canadian Xavier Dolan. Incredibly this is his fifth major feature.
On a technical level he shot Mommy in a 1:1 aspect ratio and condensed
the tight frame, similar to a square, superbly well. Unusually, in one
scene the subtitles of this French speaking film appear at the top of
This style of filming results in a visual style which focuses on faces,
which leads to the viewer having an added intimacy with the characters.
What radiates throughout is the extraordinary acting performances by
the three main protagonists, who all portray complex natures, single mum
Diane, alias 'Die' ,(Anne Dorval), her teenage son Steve (Antoine-Olivier
Pilon), who has the ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) condition
and neighbour Kyla (Suzanne Clement), a teacher , who suffers from an
There are a number of explosive and frightening scenes behind the lace
curtains inside the house of Die and Steve, as they engage in violent
confrontations, sparked by her feisty nature, and his ready compulsion
to express his true feelings, no matter the mental harm it inflicts on
One of the likable traits of Steve is that he utters comments that most
people would like to put across to others but due to social conventions,
good manners, call it what you will, they desist from doing so to keep
Kyla is no shrinking violet either, despite the early impression that
she is introverted and withdrawn following her mental breakdown,, not
helped by being married to a dullard computer programmer.
It is quite a shock when she turns the tables on Steve, in regard to
making sure the target of their vitriol is left in no doubt that they
are not to be messed with.
Kyla brings happiness into the lives of Die - forming a warm friendship
and acts as a home-based teacher to Steve. It also proves of therapy to
her, losing her stammer whilst in their company, making her more self
confident and assured.
Mommy, clocking in at 140 minutes is no easy ride but it is a awesome
piece of filmmaking.
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