'Mommy' and 'Maps to the Stars' Open Today!

Antoine Olivier-Pilon in Mommy
It’s a big day for film as festival favourites Mommy and Maps to the Stars! Xavier Dolan’s Mommy, Canada’s Oscar contender and a frontrunner in the Best Foreign Language Film category, finally makes its way to Ottawa after taking festivals around the world by storm and the lighting up the Canadian box office. The film is one of my favourites from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival where it made its Canadian debut after premiering at Cannes where it won Dolan the Jury Prize. He should have won the Palme since Mommy is such a masterful force of raw, distinctly cinematic emotion. Read the 5-star review of Mommy (which I was just invited to have reproduced in a textbook… so cool!). Mommy opens today at The ByTowne. Buy a membership, since you’ll want to see it a few times for Anne Dorval alone.

Julianne Moore in Maps to the Stars
Mommy’s tour-de-force performance by Anne Dorval might have gone home empty-handed at Cannes, but Canadian audiences still had reason to cheer since the prize went to Julianne Moore for her gutsy performance in David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars (read the TIFF review here). Maps, another TIFF favourite, is one of Cronenberg’s best films in years, as he ingeniously takes an off-kilter direction to Bruce Wagner’s razor-sharp script that takes aim at the hollow, empty ugliness of Hollywood. Moore’s brilliantly unhinged performance stands out in a strong ensemble that includes Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, and Sarah Gadon, and Canadian film fans will doubtlessly enjoy the novelty of seeing Moore’s puffy-lipped starlet cling to a Canadian Genie as validation of her success. Maps to the Stars opens in Ottawa today at Landmark Kanata, SilverCity Gloucester, and the Cineplex Coliseum, which could possibly the funniest place ever to see a Cronenberg film… they won’t know what hit them!!!

How often do we get two new films from Canadian masters on the same day? We are spoiled!