The filmmaker also featured Jessica Chastain, but cut her from the final cut.
It was to be its director’s masterpiece. Also her behind the scenes debut in English. The cast is crazy: Kit Harington, Natalie Portman, Susan Sarandon, Jacob Tremblay, Jessica Chastain, and Thandie Newton. But critics blasted it and five years later, the colossal failure of the project still seems inexplicable.
Xavier Dolan begins his biggest project yet with My Life with John F. Donovan. The film, inspired by letters he sent to Leonardo DiCaprio and Susan Sarandon as a child, follows a man who, as a child, is actor John F. Donovan, who died of an overdose. The relationship which the two had maintained by letter was made public following the discovery that the actor had paid prostitutes. All this caused a big scandal.
The filming of My Life with John F. Donovan was a long one. It started in 2016 and ended in 2017. The Cannes Film Festival invited the director to present the film, but Dolan declined, saying he was still not happy with the editing.
“The movie is in post-production,” Dolan said. “I wanted to send it to Cannes, and I did. But Several last-minute setbacks made us reflect and we began to think that Cannes was not the ideal place to premiere the filmAnd the truth is, I agree.” The decision not to screen it at Cannes was strange, because Dolan is associated with the pageant: he won awards for Mommy and Only the End of the World.
Ultimately, the location chosen to screen My Life with John F. Donovan was toronto film festival, Then it was time to go to the cinemas, but it was released only in a few regions: the United States, France and Canada.
jessica chastain out of the last mountain
So has my life with John F. Donovan been a failure? According to the critic, it’s a very bad movie, The reaction of the specialized press was very negative, saying that the play “makes no sense to his ideas”. On IndieWire, for example, he was described as Worst film of Dolan’s career,
Before Dolan decided he didn’t want to go to Cannes with the film, he announced deleted scenes with the character played by Jessica Chastain. “This has been an extremely difficult decision. I feel a very sincere love and great admiration for Jessica. Judging by editorial and narrative reasons, not their performance“, he revealed on his Instagram profile.
But Chastain was not an isolated incident, and the end result of My Life with John F. Donovan showed that the original intent was very different. For example, Michael Gambon appears to be credited as “the narrator”, but there is no narrator in the film and the actor’s role is reduced to a third of the film. Adrien Brody, on the other hand, found that his role had been reduced to a cameo,
In Spain, My Life With John F. Donovan was not released in cinemas, but you can watch it of film, That way you’ll find out for yourself if it’s really as bad as they said.
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