“It’s Only the End of the World” Review

25 April, 2017

Director: Xavier Dolan
Screenwriter: Xavier Dolan
Director of Photography: André Turpin
Cast: 
Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux

Synopsis: A writer on the cusp of death returns home after more than a decade away from his family but as relations sour and tensions rise he finds little opportunity to open up to those around him as they fail to listen or sympathise during his time of need.

It’s Only the End of the World Review:

Easily Xavier Dolan’s most challenging and acrimonious movie, “It’s Only the End of the World” sees a family at loggerheads after the arrival of an estranged relative forces them to confront their various shortcomings over the course of a single day. While hostility and disconnect sever discussions before warmth has a chance to flourish, Dolan ensures that each curdling conversation becomes a puzzle piece within the soul of a dying man as he questions the ramifications of an entire wasted lifespan while allowing colours, smells, and sounds to resuscitate his forgotten memories; igniting a wistfulness that fails to match the reality of his present experience.

Built around the domestic space yet crippled by the overbearing weight of numerous elephants in the room, the film struggles to deal with the effects of absence and terminal illness while nostalgia taints every frame with a deep sadness that none of the characters seem equipped to address. As dysfunctionality blinds the fading man’s family to the pressing nature of his visit, the movie underscores their ignorance with crushing honesty as Dolan withdraws from his initial promise, hinting that his characters might know the truth about their brother but never doubling down to deliver their final heart-to-heart.

While the film’s haunted perspective uncovers nothing but shrapnel inside the walls of a tone-deaf household, the director’s true intentions come out with force as accusations, upset, and anger are snarled into discussion with far more conviction than any kind of civility. As a film of sickness, pain, and pallor about strangers connected only by blood, “It’s Only the End of the World” ends on an unsurprisingly sad note with few answers but a weighted conscience as a story tainted by transience fades to dust while the void filled with postcards and memories widens to make way for heartbreak further down the road.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
It's Only the End of the World
Rating
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