The Death & Life of John F. Donovan ★★★½

A flaw-laden yet strangely compelling English-language debut from audacious French-Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan is a film whose fundamental messiness is hard to deny — from overly distracting needle-drops to wonky storytelling and structure — but there's such an endearing sense of sincerity throughout (whether it be Dolan's intensely soulful direction and interesting editing choices or the stellar performances) that it's hard not to be invested.