It’s Only the End of the World: Film Review


I was a fan of Xavier Dolan‘s previous film Mommy and I love Lea Seydoux and Marion Cotillard so I’m glad they’ve got together to make a film, it’s just a shame I didn’t enjoy It’s Only the End of the World as much as I hoped.

Gaspard Ulliel plays Louis, a writer who visits his family for the first time in 12 years to tell them he is terminally ill. However his visit isn’t quite the welcome reunion – instead of taking an interest in Louis, his life and work, they argue about nothing in particular, especially his younger sister Suzanne (Seydoux) and older brother Antoine (Vincent Cassel), who is married to Catherine (Cotillard).

This is based on the play by Jean-Luc Lagarce and you can tell because of its staging and the fact all the drama is focused on dialogue. It is all set in one claustrophobic house, lead by mum (Nathalie Baye), and the characters are mostly shot extremely close up to capture this sense of claustrophobia.

I could personally relate to it coming from a big family as you talk over each other, talk about nonsensical crap instead of important stuff and who talks the loudest gets centre stage, though my family certainly doesn’t reach the the screaming, swearing and vicious levels of this one. This all about miscommunication and what goes unsaid and while it effectively portrays that, it was OTT in the shouting. It was too much at times and not enjoyable. Antoine seems to be the root of every argument and I found him so irritating.

The film is good, I thought the acting was top notch and it was both funny and melodramatic. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped though and at times I found it quite annoying – I just wanted them to shut up and let each other speak!

Originally seen as part of the 60th BFI London Film Festival. In cinemas Friday 24th February. 

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