It’s Only the End of the World Canada
Showtime: Thursday, April 27 8:30 pm
Director: Xavier Dolan
Cast: Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard
Runtime: 95 minutes
Language: French with English subtitles
Cannes Film Festival: Grand Prize of the Jury; Grand Prize of the Ecumenical Jury; Hamburg Film Festival: Best Feature; César Awards: Best Director, Editing, Actor (Gaspard Ulliel). One other win, 14 nominations.
“…it’s unnerving to see Dolan corral some of France’s finest actors… in a maze of tightening close-ups, as they navigate a dense, claustrophobic script that doesn’t try to escape its theatrical origins.” Brian D. Johnson, Maclean’s Magazine
Based on Jean-Luc Legarce’s play, It’s Only the End of the World is about Louis, (Gaspard Ulliel) a writer suffering from a terminal illness, who returns to the hometown he quit 12 years earlier to break the bad news to his neglected family: mother Martine (Nathalie Baye), sister Suzanne (Léa Seydoux), older brother Antoine (Vincent Cassel) and Antoine’s wife Catherine (Marion Cotillard).
But are they willing to listen? The family’s tendency to shout over each other, and to render judgments, is the reason Louis left in the first place. Louis is gay, and his family has not been a source of support.
At first, Louis is greeted back with familial warmth. However, it’s soon apparent that brusque Antoine is a cauldron of resentment, and Suzanne resents lost time with her brother. Timid Catherine tends to put her foot in her mouth, inferring that Louis and his partner couldn’t become parents because they’re gay.
It’s a movie of huge emotions. Suspense hinges on when the reticent Louis will break the news to his family, and what the reaction will be. Dolan keeps up a dizzying pace, cutting between close-ups of family members tearing into each other. There are also beautiful moments of surreal remembrances and sudden silence. There’s also a cuckoo clock that might register opinion aside for marking time.
If one is looking for intensity in acting, the search ends here.
Thank you to our sponsors Club Canadien Français de Thunder Bay