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Xavier Dolan Lashes Out at Netflix UK in Open Letter

Xavier Dolan Lashes Out at Netflix UK in Open Letter

READ MORE: Xavier Dolan on Being an Actor First and the ‘Unfathomable’ Release of ‘Tom at the Farm’

Many would agree that Xavier Dolan’s “Mommy” is a masterpiece, and part of the movie’s exhilarating impact relies heavily on its aspect ratio. For much of the film’s runtime, Dolan presents the movie in a 1:1 square, increasing the claustrophobia around his main character and visually representing his inner self-containment. At vital moments in the movie, however, Dolan expands the frame to a full and expansive 1.85:1, particularly during a moment of life-changing happiness and a startling flash-forward to a possible bright future.

The aspect ratio changes are essential to the experience of “Mommy,” which makes Netflix UK’s decision to edit the movie’s ratio changes all the more baffling. Unsurprisingly, the one person most devastated by this change is Dolan himself, who took to Twitter earlier today to post an open letter lashing out at the company’s decision. The letter suggests that it was the streaming platform itself that made the aspect ratio changes, though more information is bound to come out now that the letter is circulating.

“Who has bestowed on you the right to revise my choices,” he writes, “and how competently have you pondered the impact of such decisions on my film and the public?…You did not direct this movie. You did not write this movie. You did not produce this movie. So can anyone or anything expect me warrant the liberty you took upon my work? No.”

Read the full letter below.  

READ MORE: Review: Xavier Dolan’s Long-Awaited ‘Tom at the Farm’ is a Haunting Psychosexual Thriller

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This guy is a pure egomaniac. Thinks way too highly of himself. He’s just a spoiled brat.

Alan Kovarik

If I understand it correctly, Netflix cropped the 1.85 part, so the whole movie is in 1:1? Because every trailer on youtube is in pillarbox.


Home video was panning and scanning widescreen films for 20 plus years before Laserdisc and DVD corrected that.
He is correct, that they should not change it…but even now, many films are shown in incorrect ratios on tv and cable.
It is usually because of a misunderstanding and not some dark subterfuge. He is being a whiny little Millenial.

W Jones

Loved Xavier Dolan’s work until this film. Hated the 1:1 AR but understood his artistic decision. Netflix UK made a huge mess of streaming by ‘locking down’ the 1:1 AR, but it was likely a low-level idiot decision, not involving anyone of intelligence or PR experience. In other words they really fucked it up and need to apologize to the director and to Netflix users.

Marc Schenker

The real issue is Netflix taking itself too seriously, as usual. After a run of original programming that has about a 5% success ratio, they’re not what you’d call visionaries. Oh, and the streaming sucks.


That’s why you need to stop calling pretentious asthetic decisions beforehand.


Seriously why so many haters of the film in here? C’mon


It’s a fab little movie. The 1:1 aspect ratio struck me as pretentious when I first saw it in the trailer, but it’s actually quite the opposite and serves to heighten the humility of the characters.

I’ve just checked out Netflix and it looks like the aspect ratios have been restored. Let’s move on!


JimAmirightJohnLuis, why did you feel the need to post 4 times about how you didn’t like the film? It’s a great film


Let me guess, 4 hetero males commenting above that dont find anything not heteronormative to be interesting or worthy of praise. Yet they will go crazy over Star Wars or the new Marvel. :D :D :D

Andrew James

Maybe the best movie of last year. Don’t listen to the mouth breathers that need splosions in their film to not be boring.

That aspect ratio change is a huge moment in the film. A shame Netflix took liberties with that moment.


Let me ask, the 4 detractors above: are you from the US? I’d bet almost anything you are…


This website is hilarious. I can’t wait for you all to get old and re-read this. You know how you cringe at your MySpace now?


wtf are you guys talking about? that movie is fantastic

Eben Bolter

Good for him, in this day and age messing with aspect ratios is ridiculous – half the ads on TV are in alternate ratios. I’ve had several refunds from iTunes for incorrect ratio content, most recently Kingsman which they’d cropped to 1.85.


Masterpiece? I went to see it at a local movie theater and didn’t understand all the hype abouto this movie.


It’s one of the most childish movies I’ve ever seen. A masterpiece? Not in the slightest, I say.


It’s not a very good film, but it’s no reason to mess with its aspect ratio. Every movie, good or bad, deserve to be treated well.

Jim T.

Far from a masterpiece. Stopped watching at Oasis montage. Nauseating.

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