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Teenager Hubert haughtily regards his mother with contempt, and only sees her tacky sweaters and kitsch decorations. In addition to these irritating surface details, there is also his parent's cherished mechanisms of manipulation and guilt. Confused by this love/hate relationship that obsesses him more and more each day, Hubert drifts through the mysteries of adolescence - artistic discoveries, illicit experiences, the opening-up to friendship, and ostracism. The turbulent relationship between mother and son unfolds with a compelling combination of savage fury and melting affection. The stunning, semi-autobiographical directing debut of 20-year-old actor Xavier Dolan. Written by
Warsaw Film Festival
With his first feature, Montrealer Xavier Dolan has delivered what is already one of the most talked-about directorial debuts of 2009. In a triple-threat feat, Dolan writes, directs and stars in J'ai tué ma mère, the semi-autobiographical tale of a young gay man coming of age while struggling with his tortured relationship with his mother.
Their fights escalate until mom hatches a toxic plan: Hubert will be shipped off to boarding school. He is aghast but has little choice, as mom has managed to convince her ex-husband that a change of scenery is in the lad's best interests. Being banished to a mother-free zone might have seemed a good option for Hubert, but the move simply leads to an ultimate standoff between them. Dolan and Dorval navigate their way through the harried, increasingly vicious tête-à-têtes with delicacy, evoking sympathy for both characters.
Dolan's enthusiasm for cinema can be felt throughout J'ai tué ma mère. Combining assured writing, a confident directorial style (the scene where Hubert makes love to his boyfriend is a standout) and a beautifully rendered performance, Dolan's arrival on the big screen is an achievement that can't be ignored.
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