Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
A perfect night in with EE
Win £200 to spend on the perfect night in
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Bryan Singer Shares More X-Men: Apocalypse Concept Art
Angels and ministers of disgrace?
Maisie Williams Scores Doctor Who Guest Spot
Arya in the TARDIS
Desmond Harrington Finds The Neon Demon
Nicolas Winding Refn adds another actor as shooting starts
Emily Blunt Joins Animal Crackers
She'll lend her voice alongside John Krasinski
Mark Strong Heads For Jadotville
He's joining Jamie Dornan in the war thriller
The Mortal Instruments Officially Set For US TV
ABC Family orders Shadowhunters
First Look At Walking Dead Spin-Off
Welcome to Zombieland, California
Adam West And Burt Ward Announce New Batman Animated Film
Holy team reunion, Batman!
Spectre Opening Sequence Will Be 'Biggest In Bond History'
Empire reports from Day Of The Dead in Mexico
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
05 March 2015
Exclusive Clip From Xavier Dolan's Mommy
The Cannes-acclaimed drama shares a dance-off
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
The Fast And Furious Franchise's 7 Most Insane Stunts
In ascending order of madness...

Empire's Fast & Furious 7 Review
We run the rule on the return of Toretto, Hobbs and co

Empire Meets Alison Brie
The Get Hard star on Ken Jeong, Toto and her favourite episode of Community

17 ‘What The?’ TV Cameos From Film Directors
From Spike Jonze as a music exec to Peter Bogdanovich as… himself?

Empire Meets Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
On A Second Chance, Game Of Thrones pranks and Headhunters' poo scene

The Secrets Behind 44 Classic Cinema Sound Effects
No really, the Ringwraiths are actually plastic cups...

The 30 Greatest Superhero Movies Of All Time
Empire readers pick their top super flicks

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

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 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month 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  |  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)