Ulliel plays Louis too blankly and can be a chore to watch but everything else isn't. Dolan's checklist of mothers, swoon worthy images and surprisingly moving music (Dragostea din tei gets more emotional mileage than you can ever imagine) is in full effect but there's something truly special in this film that tugs and twists well after its end.
It may be Dolan's weakest film, but that's not saying much, because it's still stronger than most. What's most admirable about him is that he's always experimenting with different versions or possibilities of his own style, and I have a deep affinity with anyone who sees the emotional potential in "The Numa Numa Song."
Every family has its ticks. This one is hyper expressive. Except for the lead, who can't quite say his truth at this gathering, after a twelve year absence. Lots of close in shots, dim lighting, interior spaces. Why do some families stay together? Why do some members leave and others remain? Xavier Dolan got panned for this film. Something about book to screen failure. I just see him flexing.