VIFF Canadian Images 2014: Xavier Dolan triple-whammy

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      If you're planning to take in any selections from the Canadian Images series at this year's Vancouver International Film Festival, chances are good you'll catch at least one featuring Canadian filmmaking phenom Xavier Dolan.

      Heck, the Quebecois talent can pretty much have his own series this year.

      The 25-year-old director, who first made an international splash with the 2009 feature J'ai tué ma mere, returns to VIFF with his fifth feature, Mommy.

      The film won raves at Cannes, not to mention sharing the special jury award with French New Wave legend Jean-Luc Godard.

      Anne Dorval, who starred in Dolan's J'ai tué ma mère and Heartbeats, plays Diane, the single mother of an explosive, antisocial, and uncontrollable son, Steve (Antoine Olivier Pilon).  

      After being ordered to keep Steve under close watch due to his violent behaviour, Diane struggles to keep an eye on Steve when she was having a hard enough time keeping her own life together.

      Luckily, she's befriended by a shy neighbour (Suzanne Clément, who starred in J'ai tué ma mère and Lawrence Anyways) who manages to connect with and placate Steve. But is it only a matter of time before trouble erupts again?

      In two other VIFF selections, Dolan stars in front of the camera.

      In Charles Binamé's psychological thriller Elephant Song, Dolan (in an English-language performance) plays a psychiatric patient whose psychiatrist goes missing. When the hospital director (Bruce Greenwood) investigates, psychological games ensue as the two engage in an intense tête-à-tête.

      The cast also boasts the likes of Catherine Keener, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Colm Feore.

      As if that's not enough, the prolific Dolan also stars in the ensemble French-language drama Miraculum, directed by Daniel Grou (aka Podz).

      Dolan plays an electrician who is dying of leukemia but refuses treatment because he's a Jehovah's Witness. He's one of several characters in an interlocking set of stories that include casino employees, a couple drowning their sorrows in alcohol and gambling, and a drug runner.

      Elsewhere in the program, Clément also stars in Ana Valine's dark comedy-drama Sitting on the Edge of Marlene, about an alcoholic mother and her 16-year-old daughter. (The film is part of the BC Spotlight and the #mustseeBC campaign.)

      For full screening details and more, visit the VIFF website.

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