Monday, October 24, 2016

Foreign Film Spotlight: IT'S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD

Some of the best films ever made are ones that the general audience has never seen, and this is because they were made outside of the United States.  Welcome to another installment of FOREIGN FILM SPOTLIGHT, where we showcase some of the best in foreign cinema to help broaden your horizons.  This week, we take a look at the new Xavier Dolan film...IT'S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD.

I had the pleasure of seeing Xavier Dolan's It's Only The End Of The World at the 2016 London Film Festival earlier this month!  The film tells the story of a gay playwright, who is dying, who reunites with his family after a long absence to inform them of his condition, but their domestic squabbles derail his visit.

Xavier Dolan is one of the most interesting filmmakers alive. He makes raw, intelligent films that strike a cord with me, and I am sure many other people, because this particular film received a standing ovation at the London premiere. However, It's Only The End Of The World also was booed at the Cannes Film Festival back in May, while being awarded the prestigious Grand Prix, so who knows how Cannes really felt about It's Only The End Of The World, but you know what?, I know how I felt...

I enthusiastically recommend this film to anyone who has a crazy family. Being someone who has what some would consider, an unorthodox family, this film felt, like Dolan's previous films, raw, real, like looking into a window.

The actors do a great job, in particular Gaspard Ulliel, who plays Louis, the dying man, and Marion Cotillard, who plays Catherine, Louis's older brother's wife, whom Louis has not met. I'd even argue Cotillard should be considered for an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. She is subtly brilliant here, one of her finest performances.

Vincent Cassel who plays Louis's older brother, is great here as well. He plays a loud, angry character who has a lot of funny moments, and dramatic bursts of anger, and Cassel performs those emotions brilliantly. The other performances are great too, but those three are brilliant in particular.

The style is very Dolan. The music is very Dolan. And what I mean by that is, the style/music are very different, but in a good way. The film is based on a play and Dolan, in my opinion does a wonderful job at adapting it to film, but still keeping that play feel, you know?

The music goes from Blink-182s "I Miss You" to "Dragostea Din Tei" by O-zone, which feels just so natural, and I think Dolan is one of the only filmmaker's to make shifts of tone feel, as I said, natural.

One of my only negatives is, unlike Mommy, which had a runtime of 139 minutes yet flew by, It's Only The End Of The World, which is a little under 100 minutes, feels a little long. Unfortunately, there were a good few times I checked the watch, and that wasn't only because I had a fast-train to catch.

I loved It's Only The End Of The World. The film has proven to be divisive, currently holding a 45% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but I for one am on the positive side.

When it comes to a theatre near you, I encourage you to check it out.

Sammy's Score: 8/10

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