French Canadian prodigy Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother) took Cannes by storm a second time last year (aged 21) with this sharp, ebulliently stylish tale of two best friends competing for the attention of the same boy.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2011
“Francis (Dolan) and Marie (Monia Chokri) are a couple of drop-dead gorgeous twenty-something hipsters whose friendship is rocked when they both fall for Nicolas. Luscious and elusive, the curly-headed blonde is the definition of ambiguous, flirting with both of them and enjoying the power of his attractiveness. Intoxicated by the image of Nicolas (in one party scene, Francis sees him as a series of Cocteau drawings while Marie sees Michelangelo’s statue of David), the pair refuse to let reality intrude on their constructed world… Dolan’s queer reworking of the romantic ménage à trois… is heightened by a black, psychological dimension that constantly threatens to disrupt the film’s dreamy surfaces.” — Clare Stewart, Sydney Film Festival
“Dolan, plundering world cinema’s entire bag of tricks, makes this familiar tale sing, depicting his characters’ romantic obsession in gorgeous Wong Kar-wai-esque slo-mo and offsetting their lack of self-awareness with Woody Allen-esque direct-camera interviews featuring various people who otherwise play no role in the story. (These interviews are themselves worth the price of admission)… It’s hugely refreshing, given the insane degree to which art cinema is now ruled by what one might call The New Austerity, to see somebody exploring the medium’s lush, seductive, expressionistic possibilities with such unbridled enthusiasm.” — Mike D’Angelo, AV Club