2018 ***1/2 124 mins.
This is an underappreciated gem of a film with great performances from an all-star cast. I'm honestly disappointed that it didn't get more recognition and that it took two years for it to reach mainstream audiences. I learned about the film due to my lifelong devotion to my favorite actress, Natalie Portman, but it's Jacob Tremblay who steals the show here, as a kid who has a very special pen pal: a TV star named John F. Donovan. Told in flashback, the film begins with the announcement of Donovan's death. Then, adult Rupert (Tremblay's grown-up counterpart) tells his story, and we see Donovan's life unravel. It may seem a bit overwrought, maybe even a little sloppy at times, and suspension of disbelief is a must, but if you let yourself go, this film will suck you in, and you won't be able to turn it off. I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
Original theatrical aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (Super 35)
Rated R for language throughout and some sexual material.
Xavier Dolan & Jacob Tierney
Based on an Original Idea by