Oscar History

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Entries in I Killed My Mother (2)

May 18 2019

Xavier Dolan

by Samantha Craggs

It's been 10 years since Xavier Dolan,age 20,burst out of the gate at the Cannes Film Festival with his first ever movie,I Killed My Mother.It was a raw,imperfect effort.The deeply autobiographical narrative rambled at times.A plethora of shots framed the subject in the middle lower third of the screen,leaving space for blank white walls and reams of extraneous information.But it was a first-hand look at being a queer teenager fighting with his parents in the new millennium.For taste-makers at Cannes,it was more than enough.His movie showed in the Director's Fortnight,and Dolan,a former Québecois child actor who'd never even directed a short film,became the arthouse's youngest rock star.

We've watched him learn the craft in two-hour intervals ever since.He works at a frantic clip,so he's made eight movies in 10 years.The now 30 year old filmmaker will premiere that eighth featureMatthias et Maximeat Cannes on May 22nd.Love or hate his offerings so far,one thing is guaranteed – this one will look nothing likeI Killed My Mother.Let's do a ranking of his movies so far,after the jump...

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May 23 2014

Posterized: Xavier Dolan

Mommy,which spurred spirited conversation at Cannes (and really wowed our woman on the ground,Diana) and could walk away with a prize this weekend (as literally all of director Xavier Dolan's previous features have but forTom at the Farm,which went the Venice/Toronto route instead).

Xavier Dolan at the photocall for "Mommy"at Cannes,2014

I remain perplexed that an international star with this much critical cachet and this many easily marketable elements (young,hot,queer) hasn't found a deep pocketed patron in the world of US distribution,in the way many auteurs do.Think of how Miramax used to favor certain directors or the way Sony Pictures Classics really invested in building the Pedro Almodovar brand.I keep hoping a younger edgier disribution company (my dream: A24) will fall in love with him because with the right promotion and cultivation,he'd have a devout following Stateside.For now,if only here,he'll have to make do with critics and really hard-working cinephiles who attend festivals regularly.

The Canadian wunderkind just turned 25 andMommyis his fifth feature in five years.If he keeps up this pace he could have a filmography that's impossible to be a completist about later on.Get in early and sample the goods.They're yummy.Distributors might not have made it easy for you wherever you live,but at least Netflix has been kind.How many of his previous features have you seen?

I Killed My Mother(2009)
Dolan's debut won much acclaim at Cannes including two prizes and became Canada's Oscar submission (it was not nominated).Much film festival chatter and an international release in major cities around the world,EXCEPT THE US,kept the buzz going for another year.Supposedly it hit US theaters this past March (yes,in 2013,four years after taking international cinephilia by storm) but I want proof that it actually happened because it seems like every year since 2009 we were told it was opening.[Available on Netflix Instant Watch]

Heartbeats / Imaginary Lovers(2010)
This unrequited love triangle,available on Netflix Instant Watch,won the "Regards Jeunes"at Cannes and was released in the US briefly in 2011 under its new boring title.[Nathaniel's Review at Towleroad]

Laurence Anyways
This trans epic,Netflix to the rescue again,ran nearly 3 hours,and was the first that Dolan didn't star in himself.It took another two prizes at Cannes ("Queer Palm"and "Best Actress") and a brief US release in 2013.[Glenn's love for this movie is huge.]

Tom at the Farm
This thriller about a young man (Dolan) attending his lover's funeral in the country,only to discover that the lover was closeted and the family virulently homophobic,is still awaiting US release.[Nathaniel's TIFF Review]