‘Mommy’ is a fine introduction to director Xavier Dolan


Is there a more interesting young filmmaker than Xavier Dolan? The French-Canadian director’s filmography — “I Killed My Mother,” “Heartbeats,” “Laurence Anyways,” “Tom at the Farm,” and “Mommy” — is utterly fascinating. I’ve been kicking myself for two years for missing “Tom at the Farm” at TIFF13, so I’m thrilled to see it’s coming to the U.S. soon.

As for “Mommy,” it’s a difficult yet fascinating film, and another great selection for the Cultivate Cinema Circle series. I wrote a bit about the film for Buffalo.com. Incidentally, I’m sorry to say that this is my last “Screenings” column for the foreseeable future. I’m glad I went out promoting such a unique filmmaker.

Are you aware of French-Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan? If you’re a cinephile, the answer is yes, but Dolan has not yet crossed over from festival/indie darling to mainstream acceptance outside of his home country. The actor-director is at work on his most-profile project to date, a new film starring Marion Cotillard and Léa Seydoux. So it’s a fine time for an introduction to his emotion-heavy style of personal storytelling.

Thanks to the Cultivate Cinema Circle film series, Dolan’s Cannes Jury Prize-winning “Mommy” is making its local debut. It’s a long, sometimes exhausting experience, but undoubtedly a memorable one featuring a stunning performance from Anne Dorval. (Note that his first three films are streaming on Netflix, including the stunning “Laurence Anyways.”)

The free screening will be held at 7 p.m. on July 23 at the Mason O. Damon Auditorium at Buffalo Central Library. Visit cultivatecinemacircle.com for more info.

Poster courtesy of Cultivate Cinema Circle.