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J'ai tué ma mère

I killed my mother

(DVD - 2013 - French)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
J'ai tué ma mère
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Focusing on the relationship between Hubert Minel, a 16-year-old Quebecois living in suburban Montreal, and his single mother Chantale, the film beautifully captures the anxieties of a mother-son relationship. While he gauges her with contempt, only seeing her out-of-date sweater and kitschy decor, the ingrained mechanisms (i.e. manipulation and guilt) of their relationship beautifully (and tragically) unravel on the big screen.
Publisher: [New York, NY] : Kino Lorber Edu, [2013]
Edition: Widescreen
Branch Call Number: FRE DVD MOVIE I
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (96 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

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Dec 27, 2014
  • Nursebob rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

To say 17-year old Hubert and his mother have an adversarial relationship would be a gross understatement; they’re ready to snap at each other like pit bulls over the slightest provocation. The fact that she’s a study in contradictions and he’s a spoiled brat doesn’t help matters either. But underneath all the tongue-lashings and body armour there is an abiding love. Alas, his mother keeps her maternal feelings closely guarded while Hubert can only express his thoughts as a series of secretly taped monologues. “I can’t love my mother...” he states at one point, “...but I can’t not love her either.” As the arguments become fiercer and Hubert’s grades begin to suffer his estranged parents decide to send him off to boarding school; a decision that leads to consequences no one had anticipated. Written, directed, and starring Xavier Dolan, who was only seventeen himself when he composed the screenplay, I Killed My Mother possesses a refreshing authenticity that would have been lost had it been helmed by a more experienced (and therefore older) person. The dialogue is crude, spontaneous and completely credible including mom’s monumental meltdown with the school principle; an angry tirade on the difficulties of single motherhood that will go down in cinematic history. Furthermore, Dolan makes wonderful use of background artwork to lend added depth to the action; as the camera lingers on a sentimental painting of a mother and child or a print of Munch’s “The Scream” one can’t help but admire the young director’s fledgling artistry. Despite one or two forgivable excesses this is a mature work rife with genuine emotion and frequent humour which rings true right up to the lovingly downplayed final frame.

Dec 22, 2014
  • LPL_BlakeG rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Xavier Dolan, the twenty-five year old Quebecois director/actor, has made a remarkable five films in the past five years, the most recent of which - ‘Mommy’ - won the jury prize at 2014 Cannes Festival. Like his other films, ‘I Killed My Mother’ (his first) shows him to be a very highly stylized director with a strong visual sense and a passion for seriously heavy drama of the theatrical sort. If you, unlike me, hate to watch people argue then this is not for you.

Even though his films often feel heavy-handed, threatening to veer into ‘music video’ territory – I still find them to be very captivating. It’s rare that a young filmmaker gets a chance to develop at such a fast pace and I, for one, am extremely eager to see what he’ll do next!

May 11, 2014
  • petehoover98118 rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

OK, this has got to be the worst movie I've ever attempted to watch in my life so far! It starts with a guy between 18-22 in a screaming argument with his mom.
And it continues......the arguments stop for about 30 seconds in the first 15-20 minutes of filming and then resume at full intensity.
After about 15-20 minutes I stopped the film because not only is it terribly unpleasant to have to listen to non-stop arguing, but I was literally concerned if I didn't stop the movie there was a chance my neighbors would call the police.

Oct 03, 2013
  • voisjoe1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Huber is a teen-ager, still in the closet about his gayness. His inability to tell his mother causes extreme estrangement from his mother, way more than that which occurs in just plain adolescence. The film is great in showing the great divide that usually happens between a mother and adolescent son as the son seeks space and independence. It is not a pretty picture, this antagonism, but the strength of the film is that the director is willing to receive enmity from the audience in attempting to portray in a realistic fashion the inner turmoil within the growing adolescent, be he straight or gay.

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