This blog has been Canadiana-rama lately with the Olympics and the obsessive hold they took on me, but unfortunately I now have news from the north to relay that isn’t so thrilling: The Genie Award nominations (Canada’s version of the Oscar), came out today, and boy did they fuck it up. Xavier Dolan’s “I Killed My Mother” – a film I’ve written passionately about many times on this blog, as well as one of the most talked about Canadian films in some time, the country’s submission to the Academy Awards, a multiple award winner at the Cannes Film Festival, and a best foreign film nominee at the Cesar Awards – was completed snubbed, getting only a special non-competitive award for Dolan being a first time filmmaker. No best screenplay, no acting or directing nod for Dolan, and worst of all: no best actress nomination for Anne Dorval, who gave a powerhouse performance if there ever was one. Somehow “Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day” received acting nominations, but Dorval and Dolan did not. C’est ridiculement embarrassant!
To brief in case you’re new to the idea that this film exists (it comes out later this year in the US) – written, directed, starring and produced by Dolan – the film details the intensely volatile relationship between a gay 16-year-old, Hubert (Dolan), and his mother, Chantale (Dorval). The film builds through a series of richly hysterical conflicts that find these two characters exceedingly incapable of living with or without one another. Perhaps a viciously honest love story more than anything else, the film gives us an acute and compassionate portrayal of both sides of this complex human interaction, and is another fantastic entry into the canon of recent gay-themed Quebecois cinema.
Why the Genies would not take the opportunity to congratulate Dolan for really putting Canada on the world cinema map this year is really quite frustrating.