It's Only the End of the World
Directed by Xavier Dolan
Louis, a terminally ill writer, returns home after a long absence to tell his family that he is dying.
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★★★★ review by Marian on Letterboxd
i really can't complain too much about a movie that has lea seydoux dancing to the numa numa song in dolphin shorts
★★★★½ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
Less of a journey/more compact Dolan but just as compelling as the rest of his filmography; a powerful investigation of familial dysfunction and the inability to communicate in the face of stressful or foreign situations. With that being said, I'm honestly surprised that this family didn't start chopping up and cannabilizing one another. MVP: Vincent Cassel.
★★★★ review by AlexDavies on Letterboxd
Any movie that uses I Miss You by Blink 182 is good in my books.
★★★★ review by Wes on Letterboxd
a xavier dolan movie with marion cotillard AND lea seydoux??? excuse me but where has this movie been all my life??
anyways, yeah. xavier dolan does family dysfunction like no other. the moment where Grimes' song Genesis dissolved into the scene and haunted it from then on is one im going to remember forever. that last shot too...
★★★★ review by Brendan on Letterboxd
Xavier Dolan has made it loud and clear that his films are some of the most original and interesting works of this decade. Finally breaking out into the spotlight with Mommy, Dolan has had much anticipation with his most recent film, It’s Only the End of the World, had received mixed reactions when it premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. While he said some very petty things about the critics I still gave him a chance as I loved Mommy and Tom at the Farm. So lucky me that I was able to catch this at the AFI Fest happening this week. After seeing it I am honestly floored at how compact and riveting It’s Only the End of the World is. The eclectic cast, masterful cinematography, and tight script make this film stand out as one of the best films I’ve seen this year and in 2017.
Dolan seems to know all too well the experiences that we have with our families when he makes his films. Their little reflections of life that I and many others can relate to. Dolan’s adaptation of Jean-Luc Lagarce’s play helps make it feel cinematic all while keeping the theatrical roots of the story itself. The constant bickering feels tiring but in a way that keeps you invested and feels grounded for what Lagarce has created these characters to be like. I feel that the criticism of films being too melodramatic is a poor one at that. Melodrama has been rooted in cinema since its inception and what makes It’s Only the End of the World’s melodrama best is that it has great performances leading the story.
Dolan is able to direct his actors to extraordinary heights and It’s Only the End of the World, dare I say it, may have his best cast yet. Gaspard Ulliel, Marion Cotillard and Nathalie Baye give great, subtle performances as their the anchors that are trying to calm everything down in the household from the rage of Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux. Seydoux gives her best performance since Blue is the Warmest Color. The subtleties in her acting make her so much more memorable for the audience as she is trying to reconnect with the brother she never knew. Cassel is the stand out in this film as he plays Ulliel’s brother who has some anger hiding in him that Ulliel has built up inside Cassel’s character. I love the small bits of humor that Dolan inserts with the characters. Cassel steals the show with his condescending humor that helps masquerade the pain that he feels inside that can only be reciprocated with anger.
Aside from directing actors, Dolan can direct the cinematography even better. I didn’t think he could shoot a film better than Tom at the Farm but seeing It’s Only the End of the World proved me dead wrong. Ulliel’s character, Louis, has brief flashback that are some of the most well shot in any film this year and probably next year. The shallow framing helps put us in the perspective of every character as we get up close and personal with the subject in front of us. The final shot is truly beautiful in it telling us how we can’t waste our time with bickering and that we need to amend for our wrong doings and help progress with each other.
It’s Only the End of the World won’t be for everyone but you will get no other experience quite like it. The film shows the portrait of a broken family that can be too common to relate to. While I dozed off at moments in the film I still loved how my eyes were assaulted with beautiful visuals. Dolan captures brief glimpses of life that are unique and special. His cinematic expertise will only grow and I am excited for what he does in the future.
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