Xavier Dolan

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Xavier Dolan
Xavier Dolan Cannes 2016.jpg
Born (1989-03-20) 20 March 1989 (age 27)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Film director, actor, voice actor, screenwriter, film producer, film editor
Years active 1994–present
Known for I Killed My Mother, Mommy
Parent(s) Manuel Tadros
Geneviève Dolan

Xavier Dolan (born 20 March 1989), sometimes credited as Xavier Dolan-Tadros, is a Canadian actor, director, screenwriter, editor, costume designer and voice actor. He began his career as a child actor in commercials before directing several arthouse feature films,[1] initially garnering international acclaim in 2009 for his debut feature I Killed My Mother (J’ai tué ma mère), which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in the Director's Fortnight.[2] He has since won numerous awards for his film work,[3] including the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014 for Mommy and the Grand Prix in 2016, also at Cannes, for It's Only The End of the World.[4][5][6]

Early life[edit]

Dolan was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is the son of Geneviève Dolan, a Quebecois teacher, and Manuel Tadros, an Egyptian-born Canadian actor and singer with strong ties to the Quebecois entertainment industry.[7] Dolan was a successful child actor.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Early films[edit]

Dolan attracted international attention with his first feature film, I Killed My Mother (J'ai tué ma mère), which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in, using funds from his extensive work as a child actor. The film premiered at the Director's Fortnight program of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival where it received an eight-minute standing ovation and won three awards: the Art Cinema Award, the SACD Prize for screenplay, and the Prix Regards Jeunes.[8] It also won a Lumière Award and four Jutra Awards, including Best Film, Best Screenplay, and Most Successful Film Outside Québec, beating out Denis Villeneuve's film Polytechnique (2009) in what was a deemed an "upset".[citation needed]

Dolan later admitted the film was "flawed" and Peter Brunette of The Hollywood Reporter called it "a somewhat uneven film that demonstrates a great deal of talent." Brunette also called the film "funny and audacious", while Allan Hunter of Screen International said that it possessed "the sting of shrewdly observed truth".[9]

The film received the Claude Jutra Award (now known as the Canadian Screen Award for Best First Feature) at the Genies, and the Toronto Film Critics Association awarded Dolan the inaugural $5,000 Jay Scott Prize for emerging talent. I Killed My Mother was named one of Canada's Top Ten features of the year by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and chosen as Canada's official entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2010 Academy Awards, however it failed to receive a nomination from the academy.[9][10] It was subsequently sold to more than 20 countries.[11] However, due to legal problems experienced by the film's U.S. distributor, Regent Entertainment, it was not released theatrically in the United States until 2013, and once released, it earned little at the box office.

The second feature film Dolan directed, Heartbeats (Les Amours imaginaires), was financed privately.[11] The film follows two friends who are infatuated with the same mysterious young man and their friendship suffers. It premiered in the Un Certain Regard category at the 63e Festival de Cannes in May 2010 where it received a standing ovation.[12] It won the top prize of the Official Competition at the Sydney Film Festival in June and screened at several film festivals throughout 2011, but failed to find audiences in non-French-speaking countries. It received several Genie nominations and the AQCC (Québec association of film critics) for 'Best Film'.[9]

His third film, Laurence Anyways, was selected to compete in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Suzanne Clément's performance in the film won the section's award for Best Actress.[13][14] The film received praise from critics but again failed to find an audience.

In May 2012, Dolan announced that his fourth film would be an adaptation of Michel Marc Bouchard's play Tom at the Farm (Tom à la ferme).[15] It received its world premiere in the main competition section at the 70th Venice International Film Festival on 2 September 2013 and won the FIPRESCI award. Though Tom at the Farm played the festival circuits in 2013, it was not released in the U.S. until 2015. In an August 2015 interview Dolan said: "No one knows me in the States, because the movies have been released in such an awkward, irregular fashion, all by different distributors.... I don't want to sound pretentious, but it's puzzling."[16]

Mommy[edit]

Dolan's 2014 film, Mommy, shared the Jury Prize in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival with Jean-Luc Godard's film Goodbye to Language (Adieu au langage). The jury president for the 2014 festival was Jane Campion and, upon receiving the award, Dolan stated:

The Piano [Campion's film] was the first film that I watched that truly defined who I am.... It made me want to write films for beautiful women with soul and will and strength. To even stand on the same stage as you [Campion] is extraordinary.[17]

The film was singled out by critics as Dolan's "most mature" film to date[18] and became his first film to achieve success at the box office, grossing over $3.5 million domestically in 2014, becoming the highest-selling film in Quebec for 2014.[19] According to the Montreal Gazette, over , one million people went to see the film in France.[19] Mommy went on to win the Cesar Award for 'Best Foreign Film' in 2015.[20]

It's Only the End of the World[edit]

Dolan also adapted the play Juste la fin du Monde by Jean-Luc Lagarce for the screen, titled It's Only the End of the World. The film stars Marion Cotillard, Gaspard Ulliel, Vincent Cassel, Léa Seydoux and Nathalie Baye. Filming commenced in late May 2015.[21] The film was an official selection for the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, in competition for the Palme d'Or, though it did not win.[22]

After receiving a polarized reaction from the festival audiences, the film won the Grand Prix and the Ecumenical Jury Prize.[23] The film is scheduled to be released in Quebec and France on 21 September 2016.[24]

The Death and Life of John F. Donovan[edit]

Dolan is in pre-production for his first English-language film The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.[25] Dolan is writing the screenplay with Jacob Tierney. The film follows John F. Donovan (Kit Harington), a Hollywood film actor whose life and career are turned upside-down when a gossip columnist (Jessica Chastain) exposes his private correspondence with an 11-year-old British fan. The film also stars Susan Sarandon as Donovan's mother and Kathy Bates as his manager.[26]

Other work[edit]

In 2015, Dolan was selected to serve on the jury for the main competition section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.[27][28]

In 2015, he directed the music video for "Hello", the lead single from the album 25 by Adele.[29] The video broke the Vevo record for most views in 24 hours, over 27.7 million views.[30] The video was also notable for featuring footage shot in IMAX.[31] Dolan received the Juno Award for Video of the Year for directing the video.[32]

Influences and style[edit]

Dolan has said that his work is "not that influenced by other directors".[33] When asked to elaborate in an interview, Dolan said:[34]

What I'm trying to say is that I’m not that influenced by directors. I was influenced by Paul Thomas Anderson: it happened once. When I saw Magnolia I was shocked by the scene with Julianne Moore and the amazing frog rain at the end of the movie. It's bigger than nature and I love bigger than nature in movies. But you know, I don't think to myself: "OK, what am I going to do in my next film? Let's watch some Murnau and early Scorsese." I've had limited exposure to movies; I'm young and I only started watching films when I was 15, 16.

In 2009, Dolan identified Michael Haneke as one of his favourite directors for his precise camerawork and strong writing, citing Haneke's Funny Games and The Piano Teacher as favourites.[35] At the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Dolan said that The Piano by Jane Campion was a major inspiration for him.

Personal life[edit]

Dolan is gay[36] and described I Killed My Mother as semi-autobiographical.[10][37] He has cited seeing the film Titanic as an early influence on his decision to enter the film industry.[38]

Filmography[edit]

As director[edit]

As actor[edit]

As voice actor[edit]

Note: Many films that are dubbed in French are also dubbed in the French spoken in Québec or in one of the versions of French known as international French. DVDs may be labelled VQ for "version Québécois", which uses a Québécois accent and terms unique to that variety of the French language, or VFQ for "version francophone québécoise", which presents a generally neutral accent but pronounces English words in a way found in North America rather than in France.

As music video director[edit]

Recurring collaborators[edit]

Actor I Killed My Mother Heartbeats Laurence Anyways Tom at the Farm Mommy It's Only the End of the World
Anne Dorval NoN NoN NoN NoN
Suzanne Clément NoN NoN NoN
Antoine Olivier Pilon NoN NoN
Manuel Tadros NoN NoN NoN
Patricia Tulasne NoN NoN NoN
Pierre-Yves Cardinal NoN NoN
Nathalie Baye NoN NoN
Monia Chokri NoN NoN
Niels Schneider NoN NoN
Monique Spaziani NoN NoN
Perrette Souplex NoN NoN
Jacques Lavallée NoN NoN
Pierre Chagnon NoN NoN

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Saltz, Rachel (12 March 2013). "'I Killed My Mother,' a Xavier Dolan Film". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Xavier Dolan's long road to instant success". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "Xavier Dolan". IMDb. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Miller, Julie. "Cannes Film Festival's Crown Prince Xavier Dolan on Directing Oscar Winners at Age 26". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  5. ^ Guiducci, Mark. "Cannes Prizewinner Xavier Dolan Talks Adele and Why There's No Difference Between High and Pop Culture". Vogue. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  6. ^ Kohn, Eric (22 May 2014). "Cannes Review: Is Xavier Dolan's 'Mommy' His Best Film?". Indiewire. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  7. ^ Perreaux, Les; Renzetti, Elizabeth (25 May 2009). "Québécois filmmaker electrifies Cannes". The Globe and Mail. 
  8. ^ "Québécois filmmaker electrifies Cannes". The Globe and Mail, 25 May 2009.
  9. ^ a b c "Xavier Dolan". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Lacey, Liam (4 February 2010). "Xavier Dolan's long road to instant success". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Hopewell, John (10 February 2010). "Rezo wraps up Dolan's 'Love'". Variety. 
  12. ^ "Xavier Dolan: Flattered, but fretting about Cannes return". Montreal Gazette. 24 May 2009. 
  13. ^ "2012 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  14. ^ "Dolan in two minds over Cannes". Times Colonist. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Schmidlin, Charlie (7 May 2012). "Xavier Dolan fourth film, is an Adaptation of Michel Marc Bouchard's Play 'Tom à la Ferme'". IndieWire. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  16. ^ Smith, Nigel M. (11 August 2015). "Xavier Dolan: 'Film-making is not liberating'". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  17. ^ Xan Brooks (25 May 2014). "Cannes festival ready for shut-eye after Winter Sleep wins Palme d'Or". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  18. ^ D'Alto, Vicenzo (18 September 2014). "Mommy is a more mature and fully rounded expression of everything Xavier Dolan has gleaned in the past half-decade". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  19. ^ a b Kelly, Brendan (18 November 2014). "Mommy continues its box office dominance". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  20. ^ "Xavier Dolan's Mommy wins best foreign film at France's César Awards". CBC News. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  21. ^ "Xavier Dolan's Next Film Teams Him With Marion Cotillard For 'Juste la fin du Monde'". IndieWire. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  22. ^ "2016 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup, Including New Films From Steven Spielberg, Jodie Foster and Many More". Indiewire. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  23. ^ "Dolan defies critics, wins Cannes Grand Prix". CBC News. 22 May 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  24. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin. "Xavier Dolan's 'It's Only The End Of The World' Will Open In Quebec On September 21st". The Playlist. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  25. ^ "Xavier Dolan Writing His First American Film 'The Death & Life of John F. Donovan' & More From MoMa". Blackbook. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  26. ^ "Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates Board 'Mommy' Director's First English-Language Project". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  27. ^ "The Jury of the 68th Cannes Film Festival". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  28. ^ "Jake Gyllenhaal, Sienna Miller and Guillermo del Toro Join Cannes Film Festival Jury". The Wrap. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  29. ^ "Watch: Xavier Dolan Directed Video For Adele's "Hello"". The Playlist. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  30. ^ "Adele's 'Hello' breaks Taylor Swift's record for single-day views". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  31. ^ "Meet Xavier Dolan, the Indie Director Behind Adele's "Hello" Music Video". Vogue. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  32. ^ "Xavier Dolan – Hello – Adele". Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  33. ^ Myers, Emma (24 June 2013). "Interview: Xavier Dolan". Film Comment. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  34. ^ "Interview: Xavier Dolan – Film Comment". Film Comment. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  35. ^ Provencher, Normand (15 May 2009). "Xavier Dolan: "J'ai toujours vu Cannes dans ma soupe"" [Xavier Dolan: I've always seen Cannes in my future"]. La Presse (in French). Retrieved 1 April 2015. Michael Haneke... est un réalisateur extrêmement précis... que ce soit la réalisation, le jeu de caméra, la direction d'acteurs. Il possède aussi un calcul incroyable de l'écriture... J'ai beaucoup aimé Funny Games… ainsi que La pianiste. (Translation: Michael Haneke is an extremely precise director when it comes to directing, camerawork and working with actors. He is also an incredibly strong writer... I very much liked Funny Games… and the The Piano Teacher.) 
  36. ^ Kirchner, Lisa (23 February 2011). "Xavier Dolan: The New Woody Allen, Only Younger, Cuter and Gay". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  37. ^ Provencher, Normand (15 May 2009). "Xavier Dolan: "J'ai toujours vu Cannes dans ma soupe"" [Xavier Dolan: I've always seen Cannes in my future"]. La Presse (in French). Retrieved 1 April 2015. C'est en partie autobiographique... ceci étant dit, il m'a fallu ajouter des éléments de romance et de fiction (Translation: the film is partly autobiographical... having said that, I had to add romantic and fictional elements) 
  38. ^ Blasberg, Derek (20 November 2015). "How Titanic Changed Director Xavier Dolan's Life". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]