Filmmaker Xavier Dolan continues to astonish by breaking rules.
Filmmaker Xavier Dolan continues to astonish by breaking rules.

Only 25 years old and now onto his fifth feature, filmmaker Xavier Dolan continues to astonish by breaking rules and being boldly playful with heavy subject matter.

His latest film, Mommy, is set in the not too distant future where the Canadian government has made it possible to turn over your kids into their care as part of a default safety net.  Diane might want to consider that because her son Steve is prone to violence and rude behavior when he is not just being a loving, happy kid. With the help of a stuttering teacher on leave who lives next door, she tries to find some normal in her challenging situation.

The lead actors Anne Dorval, Antoine-Oliver Pilon and Suzanne Clement are astonishingly raw and original and the film is uniquely shot. Sometimes it resembles an iPhone held incorrectly, making a boxy image, and at others the screen expands to let in the wonder. A brilliant, vivid film-going experience.

Mommy. Canada, France, 2014.  Directed and written by Xavier Dolan.  No further screenings at the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival.  Visit http://viff.org for more information.