The Death & Life of John F. Donovan ★★★★★

"Live Before You Lie"

This feels like a feature length version of Todd Haynes's Dottie Gets Spanked crossed with Terrence Davies' The Long Day Closes. Every frame feels touchingly real, as if Dolan himself had experienced it himself. Each shot is darker, the score more somber, than the young auteur's previous work, lending to an overwhelming feeling that this is an invasion of someone's privacy. But it's full of hope, as they say at the end: the adult John Donovan telling young Rupert to live how he could not in his letters. The feeling of the idolization you feel when you're young, that desire to latch onto anyone like you in this world, is touchingly rendered. Memory feels like it should, scattered fractures, unanswered questions, an idealization of recollection. Yet another gorgeous treat from Xavier Dolan❤️

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