It’s Only the End of the World

(Juste la fin du monde)
Canada/France 2016. Dir: Xavier Dolan. 95 min. DCP

Xavier Dolan (Laurence Anyways, Mommy), delivers yet another visionary work. It’s Only the End of the World, winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes, is a thunderous drama about home and familial roots. Terminally-ill writer Louis (Gaspard Ulliel) comes home after 12 years away to tell his family he is dying. It’s the proverbial prodigal’s return, except that his family is not so ready to forgive him. His mother (Nathalie Baye) has struggled to keep the family together; his tempestuous siblings (Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux) and introverted sister-in-law (Marion Cotillard) have their own crosses and grudges to bear. The group deconstructs a life’s worth of damaged family dynamics. Dolan gives Jean-Luc Lagarce’s source play a stunningly-stylized adaptation, shooting almost entirely in intense close-ups. It’s a bold aesthetic choice that gets to the heart of the characters’ experience. — Magali Simard, TIFF


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REVIEWS

★★★★ "A brilliant, stylized, and hallucinatory evocation of family dysfunction."

Guardian | full review