Quick-Thoughts: Xavier Dolan’s Mommy (2014)

Screened at The Alamo Drafthouse

The spelling of the word “hello” did always seem suspicious to me.

Mommy may be supported by a pretty standard plot that’s tethered to the usual breed between coming of age drama and tragedy, but its ultimately hauled by three absolutely mind-blowing performances that embody three seriously expatiated and elaborate characters, and Xavier Dolan’s avant-garde cinematic style is calculated to a T here — the 1:1 aspect ratio redefining composition is a breath of fresh air in particular. Dolan furthermore decisively gets across just how tough a situation like this must be where the extremes of either abandonment or embrace seem to be a mother’s only options, out of love to each. The film wisely grants us a few moments of tenderness to suggest that capable relationships are building yet also reveals to us its tragic coexistence with the tangible society of today where its inability to prevail is almost marked a guarantee, allocating you into this mother who must undergo and live narrowed with this far from ideal reality. Dolan’s methodology to manifest these polarities can sometimes be a bit too on-the-nose and tonally bait-and-switch, but certainly not enough so to ruin what’s already otherwise marvelous in it.

And I see what you did there Dolan with that Lana Del Rey song. The classic double entendre.

Verdict: B

“Mommy” is now available to stream on Paramount+.

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