Mommy - This Movie Rocks The Cradle
Dir; Xavier Dolan
Starring Anne Dorval, Antione-Olivier Pilon, Suzanne Clement
Dolan’s latest is a deliberately paced look at a family falling apart as much as it tries to stay together. The mother has already had her son institutionalised, (there’s an obscure explanation at the beginning about a fictional future French-Canadian statute that is neither here nor there ultimately.) Now Diane – call me “Die” (Dorval), has her ADHD son Steve (Pilon) returned to here in an attempt to find some solidity in her own life as much as provide some for him. Their difficult, at times semi- sexualised life together is aided and abetted by the inclusion of the quietly stammering Kyla (Clement) from across the street. Together they find some kind of family that almost seeks to defy the families they find themselves in individually.
Dolan’s film is lengthy, but for the most part absorbing. Even when it takes time to stop completely for a song – although the likes of White Flag and Wonderwall are used extremely well.
Dolan for the most part shies away from explosive dramatic moments in favour of quiet observational sequences, although given the nature of Steve’s character the former become inevitable and are made more powerful by their few and far between nature.
He is greatly aided by three remarkable performances from his leads, each of whom works in a different key but blend together perfectly. It’s ultimately a sad film about different forms of loss, but almost refuses to believe it is such.
Follow us on Twitter @lastwordonearth