The Death & Life of John F. Donovan

Director: Xavier Dolan
Year Released: 2018
Rating: 1.0

A writer named Rupert (Jacob Tremblay as a wee lad, Ben Schnetzer as an adult) meets with a journalist (Thandie Newton) to discuss the late (and not especially good) actor named John F. Donovan (Kit Harington) and how they used to send letters to each other a lot when he was little and infatuated with the star; the movie jumps around to cover Donovan's own life, his trouble with his hard-drinking mother (Susan Sarandon) and his (closeted) homosexuality.  Dolan has yet to learn his lesson about turning his 'dramatic' scenes into shouting matches (or violence) and his use of pop songs is always overbearing (bathtub sing-a-long!) - by the end he never gets to the heart of what made Donovan tick (his character is underwritten to make it more 'mysterious' I guess) because his script is weak and filled with platitudes.  The cast does what it can - Kathy Bates' character should get her own movie - but all I can gather from it is that Dolan wants young men to come out as soon as possible and make peace with that part of themselves early on instead of denying it ... which goes against Sir Ian McKellen's advice.