Friendships change over time, especially the ones born of childhood and adolescence. Sometimes those friendships hide the true feelings of the journey from boy to man (or girl to woman). While sometimes, they hide, repressed desires that surface on the road to adult life. These are all themes that Xavier Dolan’s latest film explores with tenderness and ease. Bound together with a nuanced exploration of masculinity, love, and emotional repression in Matthias and Maxime.
Dolan’s 10th film sees him return to the role of leading actor and director, for the first time since his 2013 film Tom at the Farm. Creating a thoughtful and dynamic story that, in many ways, reflects the young filmmaker recently turning 30. An age where many of the friendships we had nurtured and built within our late teens and early twenties naturally change as career, family and relationships take us in new directions. The old replaced by the new, as we unpick the once urgent needs of teenage and twenty-something life.
On a weekend away with longterm friends, Matthias (Gabriel D’Almeida Fritas) and Maxime (Xavier Dolan) lose a bet in a night of drinking, smoking and revelry. The bet involves their commitment to take part in a film being shot by the younger sister of one of their band of brothers. The scene they are asked to perform, a sensual kiss; with both men reluctantly agreeing, while their friends stare through the window.
However, this is not the first time the friends have kissed; all of those present recalling a drunken rendezvous as teenagers. And while Maxime remembers the kiss well, Matthias has pushed any memory firmly to the sidelines of his life. However, what starts as a simple kiss carries more power than either Matthias or Maxime expected. Awakening long-suppressed desire and unrequited love, as both men, head in different directions. Maxime planning on escaping his turbulent caring responsibilities for his drug-addicted mother; his life stuck in a suspended version of his teenage angst. At the same time as Matthias climbs the ladder of his law firm. Entertaining clients while living a comfortable and secure life with his long term girlfriend.
Continue reading by clicking on our full review from BFI London Film Festival 2019 here
Director: Xavier Dolan