Glasgow Film Festival 2015: Mommy

Film Review by Philip Concannon | 20 Feb 2015
Film title: Mommy
Director: Xavier Dolan
Starring: Anne Dorval, Suzanne Clément, Antoine-Olivier Pilon
Release date: 20 Mar
Certificate: 15

Xavier Dolan's fifth feature, Mommy, could be viewed as a companion piece to his debut I Killed My Mother, with a comparison between the two films highlighting how his filmmaking has advanced in the intervening five years. He remains a stylistically bold director – shooting Mommy in a 1:1 aspect ratio and filling the tight frame beautifully – but what's most impressive about his latest work is the confidence with which he chases euphoric highs and shattering lows.

Mommy is an unabashed melodrama that's constantly swinging for the fences, and the emotional force of the picture is irresistible, with Dolan nailing a series of bold and emotionally wrenching sequences, and even finding unexpected textures in a number of familiar pop songs. He also draws extraordinary work from his actors, with Antoine-Olivier Pilon's lively and unpredictable presence as a volatile teen and Suzanne Clément providing touching support as a mousy neighbour. Meanwhile Anne Dorval's performance as embattled single mother Diane (Pilon plays her son) is simultaneously hilarious and devastating, and as brilliant a piece of acting as you'll see anywhere this year.

The Skinny at Glasgow Film Festival 2015:

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23 Feb, GFT 1, 8.30pm

24 Feb, Grosvenor, 3pm