Xavier Dolan

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Xavier Dolan
Xavier Dolan Cannes 2015 3.jpg
Born (1989-03-20) 20 March 1989 (age 26)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Occupation Film director, actor, voice actor, screenwriter, film editor, film producer
Parent(s) Manuel Tadros
Geneviève Dolan

Xavier Dolan (born 20 March 1989), sometimes credited as Xavier Dolan-Tadros, is a Canadian actor and filmmaker.

Early life[edit]

Dolan was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is the son of Geneviève Dolan, a teacher, and Manuel Tadros, an Egyptian-born Canadian actor and singer.[1] Dolan was a child actor in films such as J'en suis!, Le Marchand de sable and La Forteresse suspendue, and television series such as Omertà, la loi du silence.[2]



Xavier Dolan, September 2009

Dolan attracted international attention with his first feature film, I Killed My Mother (J'ai tué ma mère), which he wrote, directed and starred in. 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 the Art Cinema Award, the Prix Regards Jeunes and the SACD Prize.[2] I Killed My Mother was sold to more than 20 countries.[3]

After I Killed My Mother, Dolan directed his second feature film, Heartbeats (Les Amours imaginaires), which was financed privately.[3] 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.[4] It won the top prize of the Official Competition at the Sydney Film Festival in June.

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.[5][6]

In May 2012, Dolan announced that his fourth film would be an adaption of Michel Marc Bouchard's play Tom at the Farm (Tom à la ferme).[7] 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.

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).[8] The Jury president at 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."[9]

Dolan plans to direct his first English-language film The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, an American production.[10] The film, for which Dolan is writing the screenplay with Jacob Tierney, 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. It will be his first English-language work.[11]

Dolan is adapting the play Juste la fin du Monde by Jean-Luc Lagarce for the screen, to be 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.[12]

Dolan was selected to serve on the jury for the main competition section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.[13][14]

In 2015, he directed the music video for "Hello", the lead single from the album 25 by Adele.[15]

Voiceover work[edit]

As of September 2009, the version of the animated series South Park that is dubbed into French for the Canadian market, features Dolan as the voice of Stan.[16] His voice work also includes narration of the National Film Board of Canada's 2010 animated documentary, Lipsett Diaries.[17]

Influences and style[edit]

Dolan has stated that his work is "not that influenced by directors".[18] His favourite movie is Titanic. 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.[19] At the 2014 Cannes Film Festival he said that The Piano by Jane Campion was an inspiration for him.

Personal life[edit]

Dolan identifies as gay[20] and described I Killed My Mother as semi-autobiographical.[21][22]


As director[edit]

As actor[edit]

As voice actor (in French)[edit]

As music video director[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Recipient Outcome
2009 Vancouver International Film Festival Best Canadian Actor I Killed My Mother Won
Best Canadian Director Won
2010 Genie Awards Claude Jutra Award Won
César Awards Best Foreign Film Nominated
Sydney Film Festival Film Prize Heartbeats Won
2011 César Awards Best Foreign Film Nominated
2012 Cannes Film Festival Queer Palm Laurence Anyways Won
Un Certain Regard Award Nominated
Toronto International Film Festival Best Canadian Feature Film Won
2013 César Awards Best Foreign Film Nominated
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival Best North American Independent Film Nominated
Lumières Award Best French-Language Film Nominated
Guldbagge Awards Best Foreign Film Nominated
Jutra Award Best Direction Nominated
Best Screenplay Nominated
Best International Motion Picture Nominated
Canadian Screen Awards Best Achievement in Direction Nominated
Best Screenplay Nominated
Best Achievement in Costume Design Won
2014 Canadian Screen Awards Best Achievement in Direction Tom at the Farm Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Venice International Film Festival FIPRESCI Award Won
Golden Lion Nominated
Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize Mommy Won
Palme d'Or Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards Best Canadian Film Nominated
2015 Canadian Screen Awards Best Achievement in Costume Design Nominated
Best Motion Picture Won
Best Achievement in Direction Won
Best Achievement in Editing Won
Best Screenplay Won
Jutra Award Best Director Won
Best Screenplay Won
Best Costume Design Won
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards Best Director of a Canadian Film Nominated
Best Screenplay for a Canadian Film Won
César Awards Best Foreign Film Won


  1. ^ Perreaux, Les; Renzetti, Elizabeth (25 May 2009). "Québécois filmmaker electrifies Cannes". The Globe and Mail. 
  2. ^ a b "Québécois filmmaker electrifies Cannes". The Globe and Mail, 25 May 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Rezo wraps up Dolan's 'Love'". Variety, 10 February 2010.
  4. ^ "Xavier Dolan: Flattered, but fretting about Cannes return" 24 May 2009.
  5. ^ "2012 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  6. ^ "Dolan in two minds over Cannes". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  7. ^ "Xavier Dolan fourth film, is an Adaptation of Michel Marc Bouchard's Play 'Tom à la Ferme'". Charlie Schmidlin. Retrieved 2012-07-01. 
  8. ^ "Awards 2014 : Competition". Cannes. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  9. ^ Xan Brooks (25 May 2014). "Cannes festival ready for shut-eye after Winter Sleep wins Palme d'Or". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Xavier Dolan Writing His First American Film 'The Death & Life of John F. Donovan' & More From MoMa". Blackbook. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates Board 'Mommy' Director's First English-Language Project (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Xavier Dolan's Next Film Teams Him With Marion Cotillard For 'Juste la fin du Monde'". IndieWire. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "The Jury of the 68th Cannes Film Festival". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  14. ^ "Jake Gyllenhaal, Sienna Miller and Guillermo del Toro Join Cannes Film Festival Jury". The Wrap. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  15. ^ "Watch: Xavier Dolan Directed Video For Adele's "Hello"". The Playlist. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  16. ^ "South Park to air in French this fall". CBC News. 14 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  17. ^ "Lipsett Diaries". Collection. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  18. ^ Myers, Emma (24 June 2013). "Interview: Xavier Dolan". Film Comment. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  19. ^ 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.) 
  20. ^ "Xavier Dolan: The New Woody Allen, Only Younger, Cuter and Gay". Huffington Post, 22 February 2011.
  21. ^ 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) 
  22. ^ Lacey, Liam (4 February 2010). "Xavier Dolan's long road to instant success". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

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