it’s only the end of the world

Director: Xavier Dolan

Starring: Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel & Marion Cotillard

Released: 24th April 2017

This latest, rather strident film from French-Canadian enfant terrible Xavier Dolan is based on a stage play by the award-winning French dramatist, Jean-Luc Lagarce – who died of an Aids-related illness in 1995. It concerns itself with the travails of Louis (Gaspard Ulliel), a successful gay man who returns home for a catch-up with his family. He has news to share, it seems.

Dolan has assembled a strong ensemble cast to play Louis’ largely awful family. Nathalie Baye plays his mother, Lea Seydoux his sister, Vincent Cassel his elder brother and Marion Cotillard his sister-in-law. The film’s motor is a series of one-on-one confrontations between assorted members of this carcinogenic family unit; often these are bitterly funny, but the hysterical pitch Dolan achieves early on barely lets up and it is terrific watching these accomplished actors going at one another at full tilt.

Michael Bonner

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