Thursday, June 24, 2010

Les amours imaginaires (2010)

Given the success J'ai tué ma mère, Xavier Dolan's first feature film, received the expectations for this film were high. However, Les amours imaginaires looks like a draft version of an upcoming film project. However, we can't deny the good performance from the cast.
Francis (Xavier Dolan) and Marie (Monia Chokri) are two inseparable friends. At the beginning of the film, they meet Nicolas (Niels Schneider), a guy from the countryside who moved to Montreal in order to study literature at the McGill University. Obviously, a friendship between the three of them rapidly grows. Besides, both Francis and Marie fall for Nicolas. In fact, Francis and Marie both believe that Nicolas is sending signals. However, the question that they'll be asking themselves is this: is Nicolas actually into one of them?

If J'ai tué ma mère was fairly good, Les amours imaginaires, on the other hand, embodies a regression in Xavier Dolan's ability to write a script and to make a film. Of course, the problem is not the fact that we don’t get a full assessment of Nicolas’s intentions or who he is. The story is a rather simple (and a little bit predictable) story about two leading characters subjectively reacting to ambiguous signals from the mysterious object (i.e. Nicolas) of their love and also the conflicts between the two leading characters that follow. While the conflicts could have been more elaborated, one always feel that Dolan has inserted conflicts between Francis and Marie just for the sake of it.

Therefore, Les amours imaginaires feels a little bit like a soap opera in that the performance are a little bit contrived at times. Yet, as far as the good stuff goes, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Xavier Dolan's and especially Monia Chokri's performance. In fact, with their performance they allow us to study the sexual arousal of their characters and their naivete.

All in all, Les amours imaginaires looks a little bit like a draft. In all fairness, the film is mostly a collage of trademarks from acclaimed directors (ex: Wong Kar-Wai) that tries to overshadows the simplicity of the film's storyline. Honestly, while Xavier Dolan is currently Quebec's most over-rated director, let's hope that he's on the right path.

Origin:Canada (2010)
Length:95 minutes
Screenplay:Xavier Dolan
Director:Xavier Dolan
Starring:Xavier Dolan, Monia Chokri and Niels Schneider

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