Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
David Yates Up For Fantastic Beasts
Harry Potter veteran director in talks for spin-off
New Nightcrawler Trailer Arrives
Jake Gyllenhaal: creepy cub reporter
Shane Black Unleashes The Destroyer
He's on to direct an adventure book adaptation
New Trailer For Annabelle
A second look at the Conjuring spin-off
First Teaser For The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death
She never left...
David Gordon Green Says Our Brand Is Crisis
He's reportedly set to direct Sandra Bullock in the political film
Podcast #125: Luc Besson, Marion Cotillard
Vive la France!
Akiva Goldsman In Talks To Rewrite The Ring 3D
He may tackle the new horror script
Christian Bale Set For Jungle Book: Origins
Naomie Harris, Cate Blanchett and more also aboard
Nicolas Cage In New Outcast Trailer
It ends in blood...
Exclusive: Nicholas Rowe To Cameo In Mr Holmes
Young Sherlock will appear 'alongside' Ian McKellen's Old Sherlock
New Screenwriter For Chaos Walking
Jamie Linden replaces Charlie Kaufman
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
25 May 2014
Winter Sleep Wins At Cannes
Timothy Spall & Julianne Moore also take awards
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
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

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Gamescom 2014: The 10 Most Exciting Games
Zombies! Guns! Tombs! Sheep! Watch the trailers right here...

Who Is Mack Bolan? Your Guide To Cinema's New Action Man
As Bradley Cooper lines up to star as the hero, here's your handy guide to his story so far

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

Lists Of Our Lifetime: Empire's 25 Greatest Battles
From smalltime scraps to epic struggles, these are the conflicts that have stunned cinema since 1989

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)