BFI London Film Festival Reviews

Matthias & Maxime – BFI London Film Festival 2019 Review

by Cora

At merely 30 years old, Xavier Dolan, the genius Quebecois makes a glorious third comeback at this year’s BFI London Film Festival. After Mommy and It’s Only the End of the World, Xavier Dolan come back with this latest movie Matthias & Maxime which was previously presented at Cannes earlier this year.

Here, not only is he director, screenwriter, editor, and producer but Xavier Dolan also takes on one of the leads – Maxime.

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Dolan come back to his first thematic love – a difficult mother and son relationship and homosexuality, Dolan introduces this movie like a buddy road trip one, it’s just a band of friends, around their thirties, going away for the weekend. One night, Maxime helps Matthias with his short film, and participates in a kiss.

This unravels Maxime who is afraid of his feelings and has a crucial need of affection, due to a lack of it from his mother (played by Anne Dorval), who is living alone and clearly has trouble to managing her life. There are several scenes of very harsh conflict between her and Maxime, which recalls movies such as I Killed My Mother or Mommy. Matthias (Gabriel D’Almeida Freitas ) who is a quiet person in a band, has an intimate bond with Maxime, and trying to understand where come from this new attraction, while denying his feelings for him.

The acting in this movie is just brilliant, from the main cast to the supporting. They all come together to help the narrative. There are moments that make you burst into laughter and Dolan includes all those real moments that creates this romantic, passionate drama side of the story.

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Like all Xavier Dolan’s films, Matthias and Maxime has it’s share of excess and the narrative progression sometimes seems nebulous, with certain lengthy pieces and repetition. Dolan’s creative motor runs on dialogue and sometimes, it’s too much talking.

With Matthias & Maxime, Xavier Dolan brings us a brand-new sensibility and way to show us emotions. The director has come back at this best, and has given us a cinematically rich and exceptiona movie. Dolan proves to us once again that he deserves to be alongside the big names of the modern cinema with a movie which contains such tenderness and is accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

We become part of the group, in Matthias & Maxime, and witness two friends torn apart by their feelings. It’s a real, raw, and brave way to show that relationships are not just what a Hollywood movie would like us to believe:  it’s hard, it hurts but for some of them it’s worth the wait.


Matthias & Maxime played as part of the BFI London Film Festival

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