There is a good chance that you may not have heard of Xavier Dolan, probably because most people are concerned with Hollywood filmmakers such as James Cameron and John Woo. But, there are hoards of critically acclaimed directors who are not a part of Hollywood, and Xavier stands out amongst them. Through his film, “Mommy” in 2014, he became the youngest director to ever win the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. He is riding a wave that any filmmaker twice his age would envy.
Xavier was born in 20th March 1989 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is the son of Canadian actor Manuel Tadros and teacher Geneviève Dolan. Xavier was exposed to the media very early as he started acting when he was 12 years old. He was the star of Jean Coutu commercials, the company being a famous Quebec drugstore. He took to filmmaking when he was just 20 years old with his debut hit “I Killed My Mother”, which released in 2009, which he acted in as well. Many wondered why the actor would turn to directing or filmmaking, but he squashed those inquiries by revealing that he wasn't getting any work as an actor, so instead of waiting around for offers to come by, he decided to take matters in his own hands and direct and star in his own film.
“I Killed My Mother” became an instant hit and won three awards from the Director's Fortnight program at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. This film, according to Xavier, is a semi-autobiographical story of his younger self who was constantly at odds with his mother. After his incredible debut, he directed his second feature film called “Heartbeats”. This was based on two friends who are in love with the same person, and how their relationship deteriorates as a result. His third film, “Laurence Anyways”, was selected to compete in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the section's award for Best Actress. In May of 2012, Xavier announced his fourth film based on Michel Marc Bouchard's play “Tom at the Farm”. In March 2013, he was asked to direct a music video for French rock band Indochine “College Boy”, which depicts the story of a teenager who is bullied and humiliated and made a spectacle by student body and the authorities. The music video was considered very controversial and as a result, France's Superior Council of Audiovisual had censored it in France.
After a two year gap, he came back with his fifth film, “Mommy”, which has propelled him straight back into the limelight and helped win him the Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival. The movie depicts the life and relationship of a mother who has an emotionally unbalanced son. The critics loved the way he was able to portray the action and the drama and his unique decision to use a 1:1 aspect ratio for the movie.
Xavier admits that the source of his ideas roots from his own experiences. During a press briefing, he was asked what it meant to him to win the Cannes Film Festival to which he replied that Cannes competition win would be a boon not for Quebec, nor Canada, but youth. He is openly gay, and isn't the kind of personality that thrives on the limelight. He's only 25 years old now and is already accomplished. One can only expect that as the years go by, he will create one masterpiece after another.
· I Killed My Mother (2009)
· Heartbeats (2010)
· Laurence Anyways (2012)
· Tom At the Farm (2013)
· Mommy (2014)