Director: Xavier Dolan
Writer: Xavier Dolan
Stars: Anne Dorval, Suzanne Clément, Antoine Olivier Pilon, Patrick Huard, Alexandre Goyette
Forty-six year old Diane Després – “Die” – has been widowed for three years. Considered white trash by many, Die does whatever she needs, including strutting her body in front of male employers who will look, to make an honest living. That bread-winning ability is affected when she makes the decision to remove her only offspring, fifteen year old Steve Després, from her previously imposed institutionalization, one step below juvenile detention. She institutionalized him shortly following her husband’s death due to Steve’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and his violent outbursts. He was just kicked out of the latest in a long line of facilities for setting fire to the cafeteria, in turn injuring another boy. She made this decision to deinstitutionalize him as she didn’t like the alternative, sending him into more restrictive juvenile detention from which he would probably never be rehabilitated. However, with this deinstitutionalization, she has to take care of him which means only being able to do home based work. Despite they always yelling expletives at each other and Steve sometimes demonstrating those violent tendencies toward her, Die and Steve truly do love each other, his emotions which are sometimes manifested as an Oedipus complex especially as he seems to need her complete attention most specifically when it is being directed at possible male suitors. Their lives, both individually and as a family, are affected with the entrance of two of their neighbors. The first is Paul, a lawyer, who does have that sexual interest in Die as he tries to help Steve through his legal problems. The second and more important is Kyla, who lives across the street with her husband Patrick and their adolescent daughter, they who are in transit in their life to wherever Patrick’s job will take them. Kyla is a high school teacher on sabbatical as she deals with her own emotional issues, which are manifested in stuttering whenever she feels incapable of dealing with her life. Kyla may find that she needs the Després as much as they need her.