Xavier Dolan is 26 years old. That doesn’t mean much alone except that he has directed five feature films, one a year since 2009. His first film, “I Killed My Mother,” he reportedly wrote when he was 16 years and is, according to the filmmaker, autobiographical. It won three awards at the Cannes Film Festival, and his subsequent work has all premiered to critical acclaim at major festivals (three at Cannes, one at Venice). Even this past year, when “Mommy,” which opens in New York on January 23, screened in competition at Cannes, Dolan was the youngest filmmaker at the festival. If he has a film there next year, and based on his yearly output so far the odds are in favor, he will most likely still be the youngest filmmaker in the festival.
But youth doesn’t equal a film worth watching, and the convenient narrative of Dolan as golden boy of world cinema whose “promise has been finally realized” is hackneyed. “Mommy” is not Dolan’s most mature work, as some are claiming. It’s just the film where he has completely managed to wrap the bra...
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