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Xavier Dolan Wins Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival


For the first time in his short but impressive career, Canadian director Xavier Dolan has won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Technically, he shared the honour with French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, who also won the Jury Prize for “Goodbye to Language.” Quebec native Dolan won the prize for his film “Mommy,” which has been receiving rave reviews across the board since it premiered at Cannes.

There has been a ton of Dolan buzz emanating out of Cannes, where he presented his fifth directed movie in as many years. The Jury Prize is considered the third-most prestigious prize at the festival; Dolan was the youngest person in contention for the Jury Prize and the Palme d’Or, which was awarded to “Winter Sleep.” Critics heaped praise on “Mommy,” and it was one of the early favourites to win.

“Mommy” follows a single mother as she tries to raise a spastic, difficult-to-contain teenage son. Their lives metamorphosize when they make friends with a shy neighbour, who makes unexpected changes to their very existence.

Dolan has been an up-and-comer for years — so much so that calling him an “up-and-comer” now is probably a misnomer. His movies have been a staple at the Toronto Film Festival, and even at Cannes before, with “Les Amours Imaginaires (Heartbeats)” (2010) and “Laurence Anyways” (2012), both of which received standing ovations. His Cannes premiere was back in 2009, where his film “J’ai tué ma mère” won three separate awards. He was the ripe old age of 20 when that happened.

His entry to TIFF last year, “Tom à la Ferme,” the unsettling story of a man visiting his deceased boyfriend’s family, also got a positive response from critics and moviegoers alike. This Montrealer’s career is most definitely on the rise, and we might just be seeing the beginning of it.

Two other rather well-known Canadians were also up for the 2014 Palme d’Or: David Cronenberg for his “Maps to the Stars” (great reviews) and Atom Egoyan for “The Captive” (not-so-great reviews).

Yesterday, the film “White God” won the Un Certain Regard award. The movie, directed by Hungarian Kormel Mundruczo, is about a girl who becomes separated from her dog, which subsequently leads to a full-blown canine uprising.

(No official trailer is available for “Mommy” yet.)

Xavier Dolan Says He's Not Done Exploring Mother-Son Bond

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