[Note: There are some spoilers below. But also know that Mommy isn’t the kind of movie that can be “spoiled” with plot details.]
Xavier Dolan seems to love maudlin ’90s music; Heartbeats featured Sting’s “Every Breath You Take,” Laurence Anyways included Celine Dion’s “Pour que tu m’aimes encore” and Craig Armstrong’s “Let’s Go Out Tonight.” But the filmmaker, in interviews, has revealed himself to be entirely self-aware of his unbridled usage of equally unbridled tunes: “Music was the only voice of cinema for a very long time before we had sound; it’s organically linked to cinema itself. So I see no reason to restrain myself, thinking how much music to put in the film.” Yet his musical methodology — or lack thereof — never fully worked until now. None of Dolan’s previous films have relied on the rapture of ’90s sentimentalism more than, or as conceptually aptly as, his newest film, Mommy, which sees US release on January 23.