As the Cannes Film Fest nears its close, one of the last major films to screen in competition is Xavier Dolan’s latest, teasingly called Mommy. Exuberant, unpredictable, and unconventional, Mommy pulls you into a corrupt relationship between mother and son which has long since ceased being a healthy one. This is not unfamiliar territory for the 25-year-old filmmaker, who seems endlessly obsessed with the oppressive, irresistible icon of Mother. Even still, much of this film moves beyond that relationship dynamic into a stylized world of human behavior as entertaining as it is revealing. Dolan’s camera springs to life, and in an instant it almost feels as though a new school of cinema is being born.
Overtly sexual, sometimes campy, bitchy and funny — Dolan’s writing has a unique thumbprint. You expect all of that from his films. But here, he takes you on a wild ride, dives and dips wildly into a claustrophobic world of almost-incest, mommy lust, mommy disgust and an exploration what happens when troubled parents raise troubled kids they then can’t control. With all of the drugged-up kids coming of age now and in the years to come, Mommy offers up a look at how some of these kids might turn out once they are forced to try their hand at life.