Mommy. 2014. Canada. Directed by Xavier Dolan. 139 min.
Perhaps the least shocking thing about the work of 1989-born Quebecois director Xavier Dolan is its contemporary visual and linguistic fluency. From the Instagram-like formatting to the up-to-the-nanosecond slang, his latest film continues to rock the staid foundations of cinematic auteurism (as acknowledged by the jury at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, who honored him alongside fellow innovator Jean-Luc Godard). What does and has shocked since his debut film, I Killed My Mother (2009), is his ability to intuit, shape, script, and direct fully formed, complex women characters. Taking nothing away from his brilliant collaborators (actors Anne Dorval, Suzanne Clement, and Antoine-Olivier Pilon), who bring a ferocity and determination to their roles, it is Dolan's stunning insight that truly mesmerizes. Layered with a soundtrack that is both current and unironically 1990's-retro, Mommy triumphantly confirms the arrival of a new (20-something!) master. Courtesy of Roadside Attractions.