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
The title refers to Hubert lying to his teacher that his mother has died. After the teacher finds out that it is a lie, she expresses this lie as "you killed your mother". This inspires Hubert to write an essay for school titled "I killed my mother". See more »
I attended a screening of "J'ai Tué Ma Mère" at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. Based on his own childhood and adolescence in Québec, Xavier Dolan's film probes the relationship between mother and child when the son's sexuality is in question. Awkward early relationships are difficult for any teen, let alone one burdened with his own fears and mother's unwillingness to accept his "difference." Arguments and fight scenes between Dolan and his mom (the stunning Anne Dorval) are painful to watch, but tender love scenes with François Arnaud provide a stark and welcome contrast.
The film is filled with anger, sadness, love, hate, and humor -- lots of it. It's a winner and received a standing ovation here. And some inspiration for budding filmmakers: Dolan wrote, directed, produced, and starred in J'ai Tué Ma Mère at the age of 19.
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