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The agony and ecstasy of unrequited love are captured in this ultracool yet superficial
ménage à trois
tale from 22-year-old Canadian actor/film-maker Xavier Dolan. Mixing French New Wave aesthetics with youthful pretensions and genuine technical flair, his witty drama evokes François Truffaut's
Jules et Jim
, as a pair of inseparable Montreal hipsters (Dolan himself and the Anna Karina-like Monia Chokri) tear apart their friendship after becoming infatuated with Niels Schneider's inscrutable Adonis. Chic, slo-mo heavy visuals à la Wong Kar-Wai and an atmospheric, retro soundtrack fetishise the small details of the pair's deliciously narcissistic journey, taking sensual, though clichéd, pleasure in everything from cigarette smoke to the sway of Chokri's vintage-clad hips. Along the way, intercut talking heads share their own, amusing remembrances of obsessive romance, while providing a documentary-type contrast to the highly stylised main narrative. Ultimately, Dolan's image-led central characters and their shallow, bitchy concerns won't appeal to everyone, but those who've experienced
themselves will find plenty to enjoy.
Close friends Francis and Marie meet a new arrival in their town and are both instantly attracted to him, but are uncertain of his sexual preferences. They vie with each other for the mysterious stranger's attention, putting a terrible strain on their friendship. Drama, directed by and starring Xavier Dolan. With Monia Chokri and Niels Schneider. In French and English.
Cast & Crew
27 May 2011
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