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Sep. 19, 2014Canada138 Min.R
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9 1 vote

Movie Review

A peculiar neighbor offers hope to a recent widow who is struggling to raise a teenager who is unpredictable and, sometimes, violent.

“Mommy,” released in 2014, is a remarkable Canadian drama film that bears the distinct signature of its talented creator, Xavier Dolan. In a tour de force, Dolan takes on multiple roles as the writer, producer, director, and editor of this emotionally charged cinematic masterpiece. Starring the exceptional Anne Dorval, Antoine Olivier Pilon, and Suzanne Clément, this film takes audiences on a roller-coaster journey into the complexities of a mother’s love and the challenges of dealing with a sometimes-violent teenage son.

Plot Overview:

At its heart, “Mommy” tells the story of a mother grappling with the intense challenges posed by her troubled teenage son. The narrative unfolds as she desperately seeks to control his behavior, all in a desperate bid to prevent his institutionalization.

Exploring Mother-Son Relationships:

“Mommy” delves deep into the intricacies of mother-son relationships, a recurring theme in Xavier Dolan’s body of work. This cinematic exploration serves as a testament to Dolan’s ability to depict the raw and powerful emotions that accompany such profound familial bonds.

A Stellar Ensemble:

Anne Dorval, Antoine Olivier Pilon, and Suzanne Clément deliver outstanding performances, infusing the film with emotional depth and authenticity. “Mommy” marks the fourth collaboration between Dolan and Dorval and the third with Clément, highlighting the chemistry and trust that exist among this talented trio.

Artistic Inspirations:

Xavier Dolan’s inspiration for “Mommy” was multi-faceted. It sprang from his discovery of Antoine Olivier Pilon, whose presence greatly influenced the narrative. Additionally, the captivating music of Ludovico Einaudi played a crucial role in shaping the film’s emotional landscape.

Unique Cinematic Style:

“Mommy” stands out not only for its compelling narrative but also for its unconventional cinematic choices. The film was shot in Quebec using an unconventional 1:1 aspect ratio, a stylistic decision that adds a distinctive visual layer to the storytelling.

Cannes Film Festival Success:

The film made its debut at the prestigious 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where it received the coveted Jury Prize. This accolade was an early indicator of the profound impact “Mommy” would have on both critics and audiences alike.

Critical Acclaim and Financial Success:

“Mommy” resonated deeply with viewers, earning both critical acclaim and financial success. It grossed over $13 million worldwide, further cementing its place as a cinematic gem. The film’s enduring legacy is also reflected in the numerous awards it received, including nine Canadian Screen Awards, with the coveted Best Motion Picture accolade among them.


“Mommy” (2014) stands as a testament to Xavier Dolan’s storytelling prowess and his ability to capture the essence of complex human relationships. Through stellar performances and unconventional cinematic choices, this film provides a heartfelt exploration of the bonds that tie a mother and son together, leaving an indelible mark on the world of Canadian cinema.

Original title Mommy
IMDb Rating 8 60,077 votes
TMDb Rating 8.256 2,527 votes


Xavier Dolan


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