I Killed My Mother

Director: Xavier Dolan
Year Released: 2009
Rating: 2.5

A pissy teen (Dolan as, more or less, 'himself') fights constantly with his Mom (Anne Dorval) and has a bit of a grudge against humanity - to make things worse, he's in the closet, Dad's out of the picture and his boyfriend's Mom is a hippy-bohemian that he sees as a true role model. Though it is basically Vanity Hour for Dolan - as writer, director, star, model - and the very sound of his incessant yelping at his mother (who, for the most part, is undeserving of the assault, though she's hardly perfect) makes me want to ki... I mean, wound him (show a little respect, bro), the farther on the picture goes the more pitiable he actually becomes, as the movie manages to break him down of his false courage and turn him into this lonely, hopelessly misguided creature (when Mom sees his confessional video, you can see the hurt in her face). The aesthetic is appropriated from a multitude of sources - traces of Sadie Benning, Godard, Wong, music videos and Nolot are all in there - and it's going to take time for the auteur to find out his own visual style and development as an artist, but as many have said he has an ear for verbal warfare and an acute awareness of how brutal family members can be towards each other. Family is not always synonymous with harmony.