Celebrated Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan may only be 27-years-old, but at his fifth showing in Cannes, the director and sometimes actor is focusing on the story behind his latest film, “It’s Only The End Of The World”;.
The film may boast the biggest roster of A-list French talent to appear in one of Dolan’s films, but for the director, it all started with the words and characters written by Jean-Luc Lagarce, whose play is the basis of the film.
“It started with the story. The desire to adapt that play, which can only, at least as a movie, be acted by French actors, and in French,”; Dolan tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Then came the cast.”; That cast includes some of France’s biggest talents – Marion Cotillard, Lea Seydoux, Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye, and Vincent Cassel. While these actors represent a level of stardom not seen in Dolan’s previous films, for the director, the casting came in response to the story, not based on a desire to edge into new levels of stardom. “The size and scale [of the film] were not determined by a desire to go big or commercial, but by the inherent needs of the story and the talent we sought,”; he says.
“I focus on basic themes, I love good acting, good-looking films, and entertaining stories. I don’t pretend I’ll change anything, or invent anything. So I admire whoever claims he or she will, and wants to. I’m just not that person, and to me, the goal of my film is that it is seen, and remembered.”;
The megawatt cast isn’t the only thing that’s new for Dolan, who burst onto the scene with 2009’s “I Killed My Mother”;.
“I enjoy my work, and I enjoy sharing it with the public and the press. This film is completely and entirely incomparable to any other I’ve shot before,”; the director states. “This my first film about family, more widely, and not only mothers and sons, but tensions between siblings, also, bitterness, loneliness, our incapacity to listen to the people we love, and the despair that stems from horizonless lifestyles.”;
Dolan, who did not present a film at the festival last year, but instead sat on the jury, is taking his fifth Cannes outing in stride.
“I am proud of this film, I love Cannes, it is a good life, and right now, I feel blessed by the fact that I have before my eyes a film that tells me: you are not stagnating as a human being, you are becoming an adult, you are meeting inspiring actors and actresses, so… I feel no pressure from this, but only fulfillment, and bliss.”;
For such a critically lauded young auteur, Dolan has some surprising inspiration.
“I just emulate “Titanic’ and “Home Alone’. Although at this point it isn’t clear whether it’s rip-off or rape. The real answer is that I find most of my inspiration in paintings and photography – imagery of all kinds. But the first part of the answer is also true,”; he says.
Dolan is moving into unfamiliar territory with his next film. “The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan”; will be his first foray into English-language cinema. He has assembled a cast from Hollywood’s A-list, all whom were eager to work with the young director. Jessica Chastain, Natalie Portman, Kit Harington, Nicholas Hoult, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates and Bella Thorne have all signed on for the movie. In addition to the acting talent, the film will also have a powerful voice on screen.
Adele will make her big screen debut in the film. The singer formed a friendship with Dolan after he directed her “Hello”; music video. “The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan”; begins filming in Montreal in early July.