The English-language debut of French filmmaking wunderkind Xavier Dolan (“Mommy,” “Tom at the Farm”) will finally see the light of day in the United States, over a year after it first debuted on the Fall film festival circuit and two years after shooting wrapped.
Set for a theaters, digital, and on-demand release on December 13th, “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan” 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 for a two-and-a-half hour version which arrived to some nasty reviews.
Many will be able to see the results for ourselves next month and check out a just released new U.S. trailer for it below: