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A feisty widowed single mom finds herself burdened with the full-time custody of her unpredictable 15-year-old ADHD son. As they struggle to make ends meet, Kyla, the peculiar new neighbor across the street, offers her help. Together, they find a new sense of balance, and hope is regained.
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The movie starts with Die bringing her ADHD and anger-plagued son Steve home from juvenile detention. She is a single mom with a potty mouth of her own, always smoking and throwing come-backs to his comments. Yet she will sacrifice for Steve. But barely back home and Steve freaks out and an intense fight ensues. It is this fight that makes the viewer realize that Steve is very unpredictable. What will set him off next?
Die meets her neighbor Kyla, a teacher on sabbatical who volunteers to help Steve with his homeschooling. She has her own secrets. The two develop a trusting friendship. Kyla and Die also develop a friendship that centers around Steve. Steve shows improvement in his social skills, but he has difficulty trusting men around his mother.
Xavier Dolan filmed this movie in a 1:1 ratio, creating a square screen. This is offputting at first, but the psychological suspense is so intense all throughout this movie that one soon doesn't notice the format. Die, Steve and Kyla and others are all performed by stellar actors.Bravo for showing mental illness in a humane manner. If there is a flaw, it's that some scenes are needlessly long.
This is a French-Canadian film with subtitles. Warning: scenes of violence.
The aspect ratio that was used most of the film for some reason didn't impact me. I didn't feel trapped or closed in like it is apparently supposed to convey but kept questioning whether the format was intentional or not. I realized it was intentional when the format changed to a standard version for a short segment of the film then returned to it's original version. That tool had no impact on my experience other than noticing it which is something that took my attention away from the story.
Overall it is a good movie with some highlights that draw true emotion however they seem few and far between. Sorry, not much of a reviewer but thought I would post my impressions.