The Death and Life of John F. Donovan was supposed to take up quite a bit of the conversation air at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. The ongoing silence stemming from what will be the new Xavier Dolan picture will continue to linger.
Dolan told IndieWire in an e-mail message that the "film is simply still in post-production." "I wanted to send it to Cannes, and I did. But some last-minute developments prompted us to decide it wasn’t the ideal place for the film to premiere, and I can’t say I disagree."
The extensive nature of the film plus a deviation from Dolan's film-a-year standard may account for the normally significant delay. After not opening at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, all eyes pointed to 2018 Cannes. Now those eyes look elsewhere.
Dolan said that the film would still find its way to audiences this year. "Please don't doubt my eagerness to share The Death and Life of John F. Donovan with you," Dolan told his fans in an Instagram post in early 2018.
The 2018 Toronto International Film Festival is rooting to be the home of the debut.
Dolan and Cannes have proven an ideal match. Dolan's debut J'ai Tué Ma Mère was in the Directors' Fortnight. The Un Certain Regard sidebar featured Les Amours Imaginaires (Heartbeats) and Laurence, Anyways. In Dolan's 2 films in the Official Competition, Mommy shared the Jury Prize and Juste La Fin Du Monde won the Grand Jury Prize. Only Tom at the Farm did not debut at Cannes.
Mommy also won the César for Best Foreign Feature.
While Dolan films have had some Oscar success in terms of being nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, the new film will not be eligible.
The Prince is a Canadian short film in the Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival. The film from married Vancouver-based actors Kyra Zagorsky and Patrick Sabongui is based on a real-life incident of riding on the SkyTrain with their 2 children when Sabongui was randomly called out as a terrorist.
The Subject from Patrick Bouchard is a National Film Board animated short about an animator who dissects his own body.
Canada and Netflix will have something in common at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival: neither will have any films. Canada doesn't have a single full-length film in any category at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, but there will be some Canadian presence. Quebec filmmaker Denis Villeneuve will sit on the Palme d’Or jury. Cate Blanchett is the Jury President. 5 of the 9 jury participants are women, including Kristen Stewart and Lea Seydoux, the latter starring in Dolan's last film.
Villeneuve has some experience with Cannes with August 32nd on Earth premiering in the Un Certain Regard section in 1998. The director has also been back with films such as Next Floor and Polytechnique.
The 2018 Cannes Film Festival begins Tuesday and runs through May 19.
photo credit: The Death and Life of John F. Donovan film