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Culture

Mommy wins Canada’s wunderkind Dolan Cannes recognition

media Xavier Dolan is overcome with emotion on receiving the Cannes Jury Prize along with Jean-Luc Godard Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Cinema's Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan shared the Cannes Film Festival’s Jury Prize with veteran Jean-Luc Godard. Mommy is the 25-year-old actor/director’s fifth feature and the first to be selected for the official competition.

 There's was only applause at the end of the press screening of Mommy on Wednesday evening and that's definitely not a given here. 

Dossier: Cannes Film Festival 2014

Dolan is confident in his direction of Mommy, having already handled the mother/son relationship in I Killed My Mother.

He varies his forms and uses film format as punctuation - in one moment of joyful release the screen widens.

Colours, bright or muted tones and dancing light add a sense of creative freedom and he manages something romantic in the treatment of a sombre situation.

Dolan's three main characters are all having a tough time with life, with themselves, with existence.

Troubled teenager Steve played by Antoine-Olivier Pilon, his mommy Diane, or D-I-E as she calls herself, (Anne Dorval) and speech-impedimented neighbour Kyla (Suzanne Clément) play distinct personalities convincingly.

Steve, for example, is such a bad boy, a scary boy, a rude boy.

The camera often reinforces the actors’ work by framing them as portraits, as they ride the emotional waves of hope and disappointment.

While the plot of the film is strewn with suffering and tragedy, it's also full of life because Dolan is playing with cinema - with visuals, with music - Céline Dion is our “national treasure”, exclaims young blond Steve.

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