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A look at Xavier Dolans Mommy



A passionate widowed single mom (Anne Dorval) finds herself burdened with the full-time custody of her unpredictable 15-year-old ADHD son (Antoine Olivier Pilon). As they struggle to make ends meet, Kyla (Suzanne Clément), the peculiar new neighbor across the street, offers her help. Together, they strive for a new sense of balance.


Director Xavier Dolan on Mommy


Since my first film, I've talked a lot about love.


I've talked about teenage hood, sequestration and transsexualism. I've talked about Jackson Pollock and the 90s, about alienation and homophobia. Boarding schools and the very French-Canadian word "special", milking the cows, Stendhal's crystallization and the Stockholm syndrome. I've talked some pretty salty slang and I've talked dirty too. I've talked in English, every once in a while, and I've talked through my hat one too many times.

Cause that's the thing when you "talk" about things, I guess, is that there is always this almost unavoidable risk of talking shit. Which is why I always decided to stick to what I knew, or what was -more or less - close to my skin. Subjects I thought I thoroughly or sufficiently knew because I knew my own difference or the suburb I was brought up in. Or because I knew how vast my fear of others was, and still is. Because I knew the lies we tell ourselves when we live in secret, or the useless love we stubbornly give to time thieves. These are things I've come close enough to to actually want to talk about them.


But should there be one, just one subject I'd know more than any other, one that would unconditionally inspire me, and that I love above all, it certainly would be my mother. And when I say my mother, I think I mean THE mother at large, the figure she represents.

Because it's her I always come back to. It's her I want to see winning the battle, her I want to invent problems to so she can have the credit of solving them all, her through whom I ask myself questions, her I want to hear shout out loud when we didn't say a thing. It's her I want to be right when we were wrong, it's her, no matter what, who'll have the last word.

Back in the days of I Killed My Mother, I felt like I wanted to punish my mom. Only five years have passed ever since, and I believe that, through Mommy, I'm now seeking her revenge. Don't ask.



On the Visuals of the film 




We saw Mommy as a dark movie in its core, but we thought that, on the outside, it should be polished with light and warmth. It's the audience's mandate to identify the true nature of the film, not ours. From our end of things, we wished not to tell anyone what to think, or when to think it.

Bathing Mommy in whatever predictable grey, damp fog therefore seemed like cheap automatism. I dreamed of a joyful place for Die and Steve to live in, a place where everything was possible. I remember swearing to myself that I'd do everything so my characters would look and sound like the actual people from the suburb I was brought up in. Not just some caricature of themselves, but "themselves", truly.

The movie's photography had to avoid the usual tropes of despondency too. The sunsets and the magic hours, during which many sequences would take place, would drape the exteriors with reds and yellows, and the broad, harsh daylight would even blind us with its almost jovial flares.

To me, it was crucial for Mommy, by all possible means, to be a radiant tale of courage, love and friendship.




I don't see the point in making films about losers, nor the point in watching them. Which doesn't have anything to do with a contemptuous standpoint towards "losers" - on the contrary. I just have a particular aversion to any artistic document purporting to portray human beings through their failures. Human beings who, I think, shouldn't be defined by hardships and tags, but by feelings and dreams. Which is why I wanted to make a movie about winners, whatever befalls them in the end. I truly hope I have at least achieved that.





A scene from the film



   




 The official trailer



 
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