The film by Xavier Dolan has been released a few hours ago at the Winter Garden Theatre at the Toronto festival. Natalie did not attend the event, but we have the first reactions to the film. They are divisive, but many of them favorable:
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN: There’s so much personal experience and heart in the movie that it’s hard to be cruel to it. How much you like Dolan going in will likely determine how/if you connect. I didn’t really but know people who will.
— Brian Tallerico (@Brian_Tallerico) September 11, 2018
Xavier Dolan’s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan is a masterclass in filmmaking & storytelling. This is a hopeful, heartbreaking film abt the gay experience, mother son relationships, our most intimate childhood dreams: critics & popular audiences will love it. #TIFF18
— Beatrice V @TIFF18 (@beansproutbea) September 11, 2018
The Death & Life of John F. Donovan – Xavier Dolan digs real deep to deliver a very personal and incredibly satisfying homage to actors in a story about authenticity and self-love in one of the most exceptional features of his career. Nearly perfect from start to finish. #TIFF18
— Alex Billington (@firstshowing) September 11, 2018
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN is not perfect and feels a tad dated, only because society has moved so forward since the 90s. But it combines the best of what makes Dolan's films so great, and is led by a fantastic performance from Jacob Tremblay. The finale is TREMENDOUS!
— CMBYN Mafia (@CMBYNmafia) September 11, 2018
Xavier Dolan brings his usual flare to THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN as a portrait of fame, sexuality, and identity. He creates near-perfect cohesion between the different narratives. The final sequence is everything #TIFF18
— Warren Kang (@warjkang) September 11, 2018
I love love love “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan” and can confirm that Jacob Tremblay anchors the film with a moving performance. He’s a phenomenal actor. Oh, and Michael Gambon made me cry. Also, THE MUSIC IS INCREDIBLE. Adele! Green Day! Lifehouse! The Verve!!
— Crystal Bell (@crystalbell) September 11, 2018
I did not have a positive reaction to THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN. I’m going to gather my thoughts so that I don’t say anything too mean, but I really didn’t care for it. I love Dolan, but this one was a bit of a mess. #TIFF18
— Jesse Taylor @ TIFF (@jesssetaylor) September 11, 2018
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan was incredible. I related to much of Jacob Tremblay’s character and could see myself in him. It has a really unique narrative structure. I hope it gets awards recognition. Everyone was phenomenal, especially Tremblay once again #TIFF18
— Adddaaaammmm (@Adamnfilms) September 11, 2018