5 items from 2016
Xavier Dolan’s latest film “It’s Only the End of the World” follows Louis (Gaspard Ulliel), a young man who has been estranged from his family for years who now returns home to confront them about his terminal illness. Tension runs high almost immediately when Louis sees his domineering mother (Nathalie Baye), his sister Suzanne (Léa Seydoux), and older brother Antoine (Vincent Cassel) and his wife (Marion Cotillard), many of whom have not yet gotten over his departure years ago. As the proverbial knife twists more and more, secrets are revealed, confrontations occur, and life gets in the way. Watch the first subtitled trailer below.
- Vikram Murthi
In the director’s statement included in the press notes to It’s Only the End of the World, Xavier Dolan says he considers his sixth feature to be his “first as a man.” Manifestly tired of being called a wunderkind, the 27-year-old follows up his Jury Prize-winning Mommy with an adaptation of the play by Jean-Luc Lagarce. The solemnity aspired to in tackling this contemporary variant of the prodigal son parable is evident, and Dolan delivers a strident transposition of the stage piece to the screen. And while he does, to an extent, stifle some of his more adolescent instincts in comparison to earlier films (e.g. Laurence Anyways and Mommy), Dolan generally appears to have mistaken maturity for joylessness.
In the film’s prologue, the protagonist, Louis (Gaspard Ulliel), is sitting in an airplane and in voice-over explains that he’s returning home for the first time in »
- Giovanni Marchini Camia
The claustrophobia of family has rarely been so well-wrought as in the latest highly stylised – and highly polarising – drama by the French-Canadian enfant terrible
Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World is histrionic and claustrophobic: deliberately oppressive and pretty well pop-eyed in its madness – and yet a brilliant, stylised and hallucinatory evocation of family dysfunction: a companion piece in some ways to the epic shouting match that was Dolan’s earlier movie, Mommy. This is a pressure cooker of anxiety, a film with the dials turned up to 12. Watching it, listening to it, is like having your head in the speaker bin for a Motörhead concert.
That’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve heard it denounced as “insufferable”. Dolan has made insufferable films in the past – his fey, musing films like the interminable Laurence Anyways, in 2012 – but this isn’t one of them, »
- Peter Bradshaw
Screen rounds up the films from across the globe that could launch at Cannes…
With less than a month to go until the Cannes Film Festival announces its line-up at its annual Paris press conference on April 14, Screen looks at what could make it into Official Selection and the parallel sections of Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week.
UK and Ireland
The UK could have one of its strongest Cannes for years with hot favourites for a competition slot including Andrea Arnold’s Shia Labeouf-starring Us road movie American Honey and Ken Loach’s gritty Northern England-set drama I, Daniel Blake. It would be Loach’s 12th time in competition.
Ben Wheatley is also reportedly gunning for an Official Selection slot for his 1970s Boston-set, gangland thriller Free Fire, potentially Out of Competition or in Midnight Screenings. He was last in Cannes with Sightseers in Directors’ Fortnight.
Director: Xavier Dolan
Writer: Xavier Dolan
During the substantial critical praise following Mommy (which tied with Jean-Luc Godard for the Jury Prize at Cannes, 2014) his fifth film in a six year period, the twenty-five year French Canadian director Xavier Dolan announced plans for an English language, Los Angeles set film The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. But following a flurry of casting news, Dolan announced he was delaying the title to shoot the French film, Juste la fin du monde (It’s Only the End of the World), an adaptation of Jean-Luc Lagarce’s play. Featuring an extravagantly notable cast, including Gaspard Ulliel, Lea Seydoux, Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel and Nathalie Baye (who returns to work with Dolan after 2012’s Laurence Anyways), the film concerns a terminally ill writer who returns home after a long absence to announce his death.
Cast: Vincent Cassel, »
- Nicholas Bell
5 items from 2016
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