The Death & Life of John F. Donovan ★★

This film confuses me.

Dolan clearly has some things that he wants to say, and found an interesting enough premise to communicate them. Unfortunately, his ideas emerge in an unfocused haze, masked by some pretty great performances.

There's simply too much going on for the two-hour runtime to manage. Don't misunderstand though, I did not need it to be longer. Perhaps the script could have done a few rewrites and Dolan could have honed on what exactly he wanted the film to be about.

He's dealing with mother-son relationships, sexuality, fame, mental health, growing up, and a whole assortment of other topics that he doesn't leave himself time to explore properly. It barely even touches on some of the things I expected it to.

Most of the performances are great, especially Tremblay and Portman. Bates and Sarandon get their moments too. Harington though didn't convince me in the lead role, I thought he was right for the role on paper but his acting wasn't what the role required.

Now I wonder what role Jessica Chastain was supposed to play, as if any more storylines could have been stuffed into this movie.

It's unfortunate that this is my first Dolan movie, it left a weird taste in my mouth, but hopefully I'll enjoy his earlier stuff more.

To end on a positive note, I think Jacob Tremblay is the best kid actor of all time.