Startling Directorial Debut From Xavier Dolan: I Killed My Mother (2009)

Xavier Dolan’s directorial debut was a very engrossing drama with the exploration of a Mother and Son’s complex relationship and imaginative use of visual imagery.

Dolan, also playing the lead of anguished homosexual teenager Hubert, is constantly at odds with his Mother Chantale. In the film’s early stages their interactions are filled with tension, the clashing of personalities. As I Killed My Mother progresses Hubert and Chantale’s individual notions to their relationship. Hubert longing for motherly love yet this subsides with rage and Chantale’s muted reflectivity only revealing her true emotions to herself. Both Dolan and Anne Dorval brought characteristics and mannerisms to their performances which should be highly praised for its absorbing nature.

The same can also be said for I Killed My Mother‘s symbolic and intense technical style. On multiple occasions scenes are intercut with images to convey underlying feelings most prominently Hubert’s vision of Chantale as the Virgin Mary, such imagery challenges audiences letting it simmer on our thoughts. Stéphanie Anne Weber Biron’s cinematography also deserves praise particularly in scenes with Hubert and Chantale, at times isolating them from one another adding to the tension.

The thoroughly structured technical aspects and compelling performances of I Killed My Mother left myself with a wave of striving emotions, almost to tears as I was left to contemplate the marvelous achievements of a film from a first time Director.

Xavier Dolan as Hubert and Anne Dorval as Chantale

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