French filmmaking wunderkind Xavier Dolan (“Mommy,” “Tom at the Farm”) finally returns to our screens with his English-language debut “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan” and the first trailer for it is out.
The story is set in the early 2000s and centers on the tribulations of an American TV star in his late twenties (Kit Harington) and his correspondence with Rupert Turner (Jacob Tremblay), an eleven-year-old actor-to-be living with his mother in England.
Their lives take dramatic turns when the existence of their pen pal relationship is publicly exposed, eliciting the most ill-founded assumptions, and sending Donovan in a vertical downfall. A decade later, the young actor recollects his relationship with his past idol over the course of an interview.
Boasting an astonishing cast including Natalie Portman, Thandie Newton, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Ben Schnetzer, Michael Gambon and Sarah Gadon, the film famously hit some production issues and delays with the initial cut coming in at four hours.
Dolan then ruthlessly trimmed down the film, in the process cutting Jessica Chastain’s villainous role out of the picture entirely. Screened at Toronto last year to some nasty reviews, the film is now finally hitting cinemas in Franch in March and hopefully elsewhere later in the year.