|Left to right: Francis (Dolan), Nicolas (Schneider) & Marie (Chokri)|
Directed by Xavier Dolan
Produced by Xavier Dolan, Carole Mondello, and Daniel Morin
Written by Xavier Dolan
Starring Monia Chokri, Niels Schneider, and Xavier Dolan
Francis (Dolan) is best friends with Marie (Chokri). In fact, their relationship is more like a brother-sister one, but they want something more. After they meet Nicolas (Schneider) at a party, their relationship develops into an interesting love triangle, unbeknownst to Nicolas. The threesome, however, are a tight group, even sleeping in the same cramped bed together. Francis and Marie both fall in love with Nicolas, who appears friendly and somewhat receptive to their advances. Each pursues him, but to no avail. They even distance themselves from each other, in order to win the affections of Nicolas. Upon confronting Nicolas, Francis and Marie are jilted, and must mend their friendship as they try to heal their broken hearts. But life goes on, and they're soon back at a party, on the prowl for their next love.
Xavier Dolan's film takes an interesting look at this complicated relationship. The three performances feel like genuine, lived-in characters, even if they are hipsters. They live and experience great pain in these unusual circumstances, without straying from an authentic portrayal of a touching story. Aside from the talent on screen, the film would not be as good as it is without the solid screenplay and the stylish direction by Xavier Dolan, who also turns in a devastating lead performance. The film's technical strengths are also worth mentioning. In several scenes, steadicam shots are slowed down, and we get to float through the scenes with these characters. The film also uses vibrant colors and an electic soundtrack as effective storytelling devices. Overall, it's a technically brilliant little film with great performances and an intriguingly stripped-down story of the relationship between Francis, Marie, and Nicolas. I highly recommend this film, if you haven't seen it. It's one of the best - and most overlooked - movies that 2011 had to offer.
Oscar Tally: None