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#FilmReview: It’s Only The End Of The World (Juste la fin du monde)


Directed by: Xavier Dolan
Starring: Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Gaspard Ulliel

Maria's Rating -4-01

Xavier Dolan has been one of my favourite directors for a while now and I absolutely love everything that he does. At 27 years old, he has accomplished so much and is one of my biggest inspirations. Not only is he an amazing and inspirational creative, he also happens to be Canadian which is just the cherry on top. While I was unable to view It’s Only The End of the World at the Toronto International Film Festival this year, it was quickly released in select theaters shortly after the festival had ended and I was finally able to see my most anticipated film of the festival!

Louis (Gaspard Ulliel) is a terminally ill writer who has come home after 12 years of absence to tell his family he is dying. It’s the proverbial prodigal’s return, except that Louis’ family is not so ready to forgive him for his desertion. His arrival precipitates chaos. His mother (Nathalie Baye) has tried to keep her family together despite their struggles in the wake of Louis’ departure, and his loud, tempestuous siblings Antoine and Suzanne (Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux) and introverted sister-in-law Catherine (Marion Cotillard) have their own crosses and grudges to bear.

What I Liked

  • The cinematography. As always, Xavier Dolan has created one hell of a visual masterpiece. Every single frame was beautiful, especially considering a majority of the film consisted of close-ups of each character as they spoke their dialogue.
  • The soundtrack. Dolan is consistent in providing a balance between a heavy and emotional score mixed with an upbeat and nostalgic soundtrack. With songs like I Miss You by Blink 182, Dolan always makes room for the songs of our generation.
  • The characters. While I had some issues with a few, this film is very character driven and dialogue heavy. Every character has their different individual character traits that differentiate them from one another. There’s Nathalie Bale as the over-the-top mother, Vincent Cassel as the angry older brother, Marion Cotillard as the timid sister-in-law, Léa Seydoux as the rebel younger sister and Gaspard Ulliel as the quiet middle child.

What I Didn’t Like

  • It was very dialogue heavy. While many of Xavier Dolan’s films are dialogue heavy, I found It’s Only The End of the World to be a little too heavy. I know it was based on a play so it makes sense that the story would rely on dialogue, but there were moments where I found some of the conversations to be unnecessary or maybe I just missed the point of them. I found the characters fought a lot, and while that can be normal for some family dynamics, it seemed like these characters were fighting for the most random reasons.
  • It didn’t really go anywhere. After all of these discussions and arguments within the family, there wasn’t really any closure. There just wasn’t a solid enough conclusion to the story for me.

While It’s Only The End of the World wasn’t my favourite film by Xavier Dolan, it was still a wonderful and visual film to experience. If you haven’t seen anything directed by Xavier Dolan, I highly recommend that you do and that you will not be disappointed. I can’t wait to see what else he creates in the future!


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