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I Killed My Mother
aka - J'ai Tué Ma Mère
Canada 2009
Directed by Xavier Dolan
Running time 96 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars


After getting a showing during the Cannes Film Festival this debut feature experienced a predictable backlash from critics who found that it did not measure up to the hype stemming from the fact that Dolan wrote it when he was 17 and directed and starred it when he was 19 as well as largely financing it himself.

Wellesian precocity aside, I Killed My Mother is an engaging portrait of a disaffected young French-Canadian, Hubert (Dolan), who lives with his divorced mother (Anne Dorval) whom he blames for his frustrated existence. Whilst people in the same age bracket will probably empathize most closely with Hubert, it is a well-observed, self-aware study from Dolan who captures the self-preoccupied world view of his no-doubt autobiographically-based protagonist with empathetic accuracy. Dolan is effective in the lead but Anne Dorval as his long-suffering mother is an Almodóvaresque delight and the film is helped along by Dolan’s assured visual style that makes the most of his limited means.

DVD Extras: Interviews with Dolan and Dorval; Theatrical trailer

Available from: Madman

 

 

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