By Mónica Delgado
Xavier Dolan has buit a carreer of five titles from a very personal surrounding, based in unseen family relationships, and under an intimate seal expressed in the particular use of soundtrack. Mommy isn’t the exception. Forming a diptych of body and soul with I Killed my mother (2009) the canadian Dolan describes the difficulties of an hysteric an talkative single mother with an adolescent hyperactive son and who are helped by the miraculous hand of an stutterer neighbor, that again completes a new strange family nucleus.
Dolan shows a remarkable progress from his previous films, resisting the formula in his mise en scene and the dry melodramatic tragedy, to direct himself towards a story with touches of humor, of a lucid background, under the eye set in a vertical screen that distorts reality. Dolan tries hard to make a portrait from the dialogues and the design of the character, the role of Anne Dorval as Steven’s mother, extracted at its maximum in her femininity and extravagance, and setting against her a sort of antipodal character with Kyla, which in some moment of the story becomes an ideal mother. However, the magic hits the ceiling and Dolan ends up deflating the film in the last fifteen minutes, turning towards a disenchanted ending, but not of the plot, but the initial fascination which the film started with.
In Mommy, the soundtrack has an special color, specially since Dolan seems to choose for some emblematic songs of the nineties, from Dido to Oasis, trying to copy part of that sensibility to the mindset of the characters, which despite the opening prologue, that tells us that we are in 2015, the details of technologies and songs refers to an anachronistic intention, as a nostalgic flavored time gap.
Despite the film’s final up and downs, Mommy reveals Dolan as a filmmaker with a thematic universe of particular style, which shows his preferences with more confidence, showing him in his progress and creating some expectations to his next moves.
Director: Xavier Dolan
Script: Xavier Dolan
Cast: Anne Dorval, Antoine-Olivier Pilon, Suzanne Clément