Cannes Review: ‘Matthias & Maxime’ is an Unnervingly Mute Study of Contrasts

Of the many labels Xavier Dolan’s Matthias & Maxime came attached with ahead of its Cannes premiere, few felt as apt as those that billed the Canadian’s eighth feature as “a return.” Three years after railing at Cannes’ “culture of hatred” for the mauling his Grand Prix winner It’s Only The End of the World received from critics–and less than one since the even bigger misfire The Death and Life of John F. Donovan bowed in Toronto–Matthias & Maxime shipped Xavier Dolan back to the festival that first welcomed him in 2009, when his I Killed My Mother left the Directors’ Fortnight with a Camera d’Or for best first feature. Homing in on two best friends grappling with a sprawling bromance, Matthias & Maxime also promised to dwell into the non-heteronormative dynamics Dolan had explored at length since his debut. And after two features set abroad, (the France-quartered
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