The Death & Life of John F. Donovan

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

Xavier Dolan is so strange because on the one hand it seems like he continues to tackle the same themes with every single one of his new films, and yet, they’re all so emotionally involving that I can’t help but enjoy them. 

This one is so ambitious in so many ways, from the subject material to the structure to the performances, but this cut feels so hacked within an inch of its life that it becomes difficult to judge the film as a whole since there are so obviously missing pieces to the puzzle that is The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. There are so many moments where I was in utter shock at what I was watching since it was so ridiculous, but in other moments I was on the verge of tears because of how emotionally poignant they were.

To put it simply, it’s a total mess, but it’s a beautiful mess that I hope Dolan is able to fully express one day. I would honestly kill to see the 3+ hour Chastain cut. 

You keep doing you, Xavier. I’ll always be there for it.

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