A relationship triangle in a square shape. Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan (born in 1989) could not care less about conventions in his fifth feature film: in these times when even television sets only come in widescreen cinematic size, he chose to shoot most of his film in a 1:1 aspect ratio. This is more than just a formalistic gimmick: due to the square frame, the perspective is radically focused on the tightness of the protagonists’ relationship – and on the outstanding actors. Kicked out of boarding school for setting a cafeteria on fire early on in MOMMY, 15-year-old Steve is the film’s dynamic centre. Steve’s hyperactivity disorder spirals out of control all the time despite medication, which proves too much for his single mother Diane. Not that she would be easily upset, given that she is very much inclined to let loose herself. Diane eventually asks a timid, stuttering teacher from the neighbourhood for help. Can she of all people bring Steve under control? Dolan has created a melodrama of rare emotional impact.
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Selected filmography Xavier Dolan
I KILLED MY MOTHER (2009), HEARTBEATS (2010), LAURENCE ANYWAYS (2012), TOM AT THE FARM (2013)