Born in 1989, French-Canadian writer-director Xavier Dolan ranks as the most accomplished young dramatic filmmaker in North America, and this engrossing character study, his fifth feature, demonstrates an emotional perspicacity one might expect from an artist many years his senior. The main characters are a brash young widow (Anne Dorval), her unmanageably obnoxious and violent teenage son (Antoine-Olivier Pilon), and their neighbor, who gets pulled into their little world to her mixed pleasure and dismay (Suzanne Clément). Both mother and son are aggressive, uncompromising people, though the mother's fierce commitment to her child is both motivated and compromised by the bitter life lessons she's endured. Most of this unfolds in a square frame, a distracting and, to my mind, pointless innovation; the movie is distinguished not by its height or its width, but by its depth. In English and subtitled French.
Director: Xavier Dolan
Producer: Xavier Dolan and Nancy Grant
Cast: Anne Dorval, Antoine-Olivier Pilon, Suzanne Clément, Alexandre Goyette and Patrick Huard