Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
Win Premiere Tickets
To see Mission: Impossible in Vienna.
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Latest Ant-Man Trailer Jumps Online
''We should call the Avengers...''
Podcast 168: Hayley Atwell
Agent Carter, at your service
Exclusive New Deadpool Image
Say hello to Negasonic Teenage Warhead
New Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Images
Chinny reckoning
Bryan Singer Teases New X-Men: Days Of Future Past Rogue Cut Footage
'This is not just an extended edition...'
Exclusive First Trailer For Spanish Thriller Marshland
The acclaimed serial killer mystery gets a poster too
Mark Wahlberg Joins Mile 22
Iko Uwais and Ronda Rousey already aboard
Simon Kinberg Talks Deadpool
''It’s graphic. Nothing is taboo...''
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
28 April 2015
Marion Cotillard And More Say It's Only The End Of The World
Xavier Dolan casts a new drama
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Mommy (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Laurence Anyways (2012)
Empire Star Rating
Heartbeats (2011)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Cannes 2014: First Look At The Palme-tipped Mommy
Can Xavier Dolan become the d'Or daddy?

22 May 2014  |  Written by Damon Wise  

submit to reddit

Mommy

In the space of five years and five films, Xavier Dolan has become the biggest overnight success story on the festival circuit in recent memory. That his latest film is in Competition this year at Cannes is an astonishing enough achievement; that he has seen his work slotted in alongside the likes of Mike Leigh, Jean-Luc Godard and David Cronenberg is almost unbelievable, given that the director only turned 25 in May. And yet Mommy is no mere sop to appease the naysayers who think the main selection needs some fresh blood every now and then: Dolan’s film is vibrant and playful, yet comes with a depth that seems far beyond his years.

Dolan’s films often star himself, which hasn’t really helped the rumours of a rampant ego, but Mommy, although it shares a similar story line to his 2009 debut I Killed My Mother, puts the spotlight on the incredible Anne Dorval. Occupying a space somewhere between Carmen Maura and Marisa Tomei, Dorval plays Diane “Die” Després, a Quebec widow who, at the beginning of the film, collects her son Steve (Antoine-Olivier Pilon) from a care home. Steve is a dropout and a delinquent, it seems, but soon we learn that he suffers from an extreme case of ADHD, which poses greater and greater and problems for Diane.

Though Pilon, irritating at first, finally wins us over, it is the long-suffering Diane who commands the film, aided by some extraordinary dialogue from the obviously not-so-green Dolan. The director literally keeps his focus small – the bulk of the film is shot in 1:1 ratio – before bursting into widescreen when shy neighbour Kyla (Suzanne Clément) gains Steve’s trust and becomes a third musketeer.

At more than two hours, it's a touch too long, but Dolan has crafted a powerful story that makes great use of colour and sound, bursting with unexpected needle-drops such as Oasis, Céline Dion and Dido. It may be premature to reserve Dolan a place in the pantheon of great male directors of women – Fassbinder and Almodóvar spring to mind – but Dolan shouldn’t be denied such praise because of his age. Mommy shook the cobwebs off this year’s Competition, an unexpected dark horse that may well take the Palme d’Or this weekend.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Eli Roth Heads South Of Hell
He's directing the pilot for a new horror TV series
Alfonso Cuarón May Wrangle Fantastic Beasts
Update: He won't tackle the Potter prequel


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Mirror Match: 10 Movies Where Your Evil Twin Attacks
A new challenger enters… and it’s YOU (but with bad facial hair)

Please Explain! With Arnold Schwarzenegger...
Plus Emilia Clarke on pranks, smiles and 'The Robot'

Terminator Genisys: Empire's Verdict
It wants your clothes and your (re)boots

100 Greatest Movie Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains exclusively revealed!

Bonfire Of The Vanities: When Personal Projects Go Wrong
15 hubristic horrors that went straight to movie jail

Hollywood Jackanory: Stars Reading Things Out Of Context
From Ian McKellen vs. One Direction to Hugh Jackman vs. baking innuendos

Before And After: How 10 Books Changed On Their Way To Becoming Movies
...And how their authors reacted

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)