Every Sunday in February, World Movies celebrates the works of film prodigy Xavier Dolan. At just 27 years of age, the Canadian actor, director, screenwriter, editor, costume designer and voice actor already has 5 feature films under his belt.
First up in our Xavier Dolan feature month is Mommy, a heartfelt film about a cash-strapped single mother living with her violent teenage son. The theme of mothers and sons continues with I Killed My Mother, a semi-autobiographical story about a young homosexual at odds with his mother, where Xavier both directs and stars. Next is Laurence Anyways, the story of impossible love between a man and a transgender woman living as a man. The month finishes with Heartbeats, a drama which follows the story of two friends who both fall in love with the same man.
Sunday 5 February 6.10pm
Diane is a strapped-for-cash widow who cleans houses and occasionally translates children’s books. Her 15-year-old son Steve has ADHD and is prone to violent outbursts. After he is expelled from school, Diane claims she can take on the role of both caregiver and teacher. With such a co-dependant relationship, they find the stabilising influence they need from their neighbour Kyla, a high-school teacher on leave for depression.
I Killed My Mother
Sunday 12 February 6.50pm
Hubert Minel (Xavier Dolan) is a talented 17-year-old who feels superior to his doltish classmates. He’s also just discovering his gay sexuality and wars constantly with his mother, Chantal (Anne Dorval). Hubert is confused and torn by a love-hate relationship that obsesses him more and more each day. All the while, he is consumed by his all-encompassing contempt for this woman he somehow once loved.
Sunday 19 February 5.45pm
When Laurence (Melvil Poupaud) tells his long-time girlfriend Fred (Suzanne Clément) that he is a woman trapped in a man’s body and wants to transitions to the gender he was bereft of Fred doesn’t bite, telling him “Everything I love about you is what you hate about yourself”. Both passionate and compelling, Lawrence Anyways tries to understand the impact of transgender on a relationship and what makes two people stay together or fall apart.
Sunday 26 February 6.50pm
Xavier Dolan’s Heartbeats is a comic exploration of a romantically obsessed ménage-à-trois. The film centres on two close friends, Francis (Xavier Dolan) and Marie (Monia Chokri) who find themselves fighting for the affections of the same striking young man (Neils Schneider). The more the intimate trio becomes, the more unattainable the object of their infatuation seems, sending the friends’ obsession into overdrive.
Don’t miss WM Focus On: Xavier Dolan, Sundays in February.