Released in 2009, I Killed My Mother was the semi-autobiographical debut feature film by then 20-year-old Xavier Dolan – who quickly became a breakthrough star director on the international film scene.
Focusing on the relationship between Hubert Minel (Dolan), a 16-year-old Quebecois living in suburban Montreal, and his single mother Chantale (Anne Dorval), I Killed My Mother beautifully captures the anxieties of a mother-son relationship.
While he gauges her with contempt, only seeing her out-of-date sweater and kitschy decor, the ingrained mechanisms (i.e. manipulation and guilt) of their relationship beautifully (and tragically) unravel on the big screen.
After the film’s debut, I Killed My Mother was nominated for dozens of film festival awards all over the globe and quickly became a sensation. Dolan has gone on to make many more features, often with major Hollywood stars. He has also had some other big acting opportunities in films like Bad Times at the El Royale and It: Chapter Two.