It's Only the End of the World

Juste la fin du monde

Xavier DolanCanada / France99 minutes201614AColourFrench

Fri
Jan 20
Sat
Jan 21
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Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes, the new film from Quebecois wunderkind Xavier Dolan (Mommy) ropes in an all-star French cast (including Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel, Léa Seydoux and Nathalie Baye) for its tempestuous tale about the fraught reunion of a fractured family.

Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes, Xavier Dolan’s Juste la fin du monde is a magnificent, thunderous drama about home and familial roots. Louis (Gaspard Ulliel) is a terminally ill writer who has come home after 12 years away to tell his family he is dying. It’s the proverbial prodigal’s return, except that Louis’ family is not so ready to forgive him. His arrival precipitates chaos. His mother (Nathalie Baye) has tried to keep her family together despite their struggles in the wake of Louis’ departure, and his tempestuous siblings (Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux) and introverted sister-in-law (Marion Cotillard) have their own crosses and grudges to bear. The group deconstructs a life’s worth of damaged family dynamics, and the writer becomes a mostly silent observer. Dolan gives the source play by Jean-Luc Lagarce a stunningly stylized adaptation, shooting almost entirely in intense close-ups. It’s a bold aesthetic choice that gets to the heart of the characters’ experience: their buried memories, their heavy sadness, and, ultimately, their profound love for each other.

MAGALI SIMARD

Couronné du Grand prix du Festival de Cannes, Juste la fin du monde de Xavier Dolan est un drame superbe et fracassant sur l'appartenance et les racines familiales. Louis (Gaspard Ulliel) est un écrivain en phase terminale qui rentre chez lui après 12 ans d'absencepour annoncer à sa famille qu'il est mourant. C'est un peu le retour de l'enfant prodigue, sauf que l'entourage de Louis n'est pas prêt à lui accorder son pardon : sa venue entraîne plutôt le chaos. Même si sa mère (Nathalie Baye) a tout fait pour maintenir l'unité familialemalgré les conflits survenus juste avant son départ, son frère (Vincent Cassel), sa sœur (Léa Seydoux) et sa belle-sœur(Marion Cotillard) traînent leurs responsabilités et rancunes respectives. Ensemble, le clan déconstruit l'équivalent de toute une vie de dynamique familiale tordue; c'est ce qu'observe l'écrivain, la plupart du temps en silence. Dolan adapte iciavec un style percutant la pièce de théâtre de Jean-Luc Lagarce, optant presque toujours pour l'intensité de plans très rapprochés. Ce choix esthétique audacieux permet de plonger dans l'expérience des personnages, leurs souvenirs enfouis, leurtristesse profondeet, ultimement, le grand amour qu'ils portent l'un pour l'autre.

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director
Xavier Dolan

Xavier Dolan was born in Montréal and began acting at the age of four. His directorial debut, J'ai tué ma mere (09), won the Art Cinema Award and the Prix Regards Jeunes and SACD prizes at Cannes. His subsequent films, Les amours imaginaires (10) and Laurence Anyways (12), earned the Cannes Prix Regards Jeunes and Queer Palm, respectively. The FIPRESCI Prize–winning Tom à la ferme (13), which he also wrote and directed, screened at the Festival, as did Mommy (14), the Jury Prize winner at Cannes. Juste la fin du monde (16) is his latest film.