It's Only the End of the World

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

The subject matter—family relationships, and the one who left—isn't that interesting to me, personally, but it certainly is to Dolan. And everything else in the film is amazing. It's so well done, super-stylishly filmed, always interesting and imaginative, awesome sound design. It's even funny, which I didn't expect from reading the précis. There's lots of really tight close-up, quirky editing, things go in and out of focus on the picture and on the sound, creating a hallucinatory intensity. Good use of pop music. The family is fascinating.

It's mostly set in the one family home (it's based on a play) over one day, and it's mainly about what doesn't happen. Louis (Ulliel) hasn't been home for 12 years until today, but we don't know why, although we can certainly speculate. He really wants to see the old house he lived in before he left, but that doesn't happen. The family members try desperately to communicate, but internal friction keeps preventing them. The protagonist communicates the least of any of them, but what he doesn't say speaks volumes. Indeed, the whole premise of the film is that Louis wants to tell them that he is dying (of what? again, we can speculate) but the time is never right. There's no nice scenery to look at. At the end it doesn't end. It just stops.

It doesn't say where it's set, but it looks like Canada, but all the actors are French. Is it because there's no big enough stars in Francophone Canada for Dolan now?

Another good film, maybe even a great one, that, like The Levelling, is about someone who left the family home for years.

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