After being institutionalized for violent behavior in the wake of losing his father, teenager Steve (Pilon), who’s afflicted with severe ADHD, is deemed too aggressive even for the state. As a result, he is returned to the care of his loving but understandably wary mother Diane (Dorval), who already has plenty on her plate. The intense, complex mother-son bond becomes increasingly destructive. Diane enlists the help of patient neighbor Kyla (Clement) to help school Steve, who can switch from loving to enraged in the blink of an eye. Still, the challenge brings satisfaction to Kyla. But will Steve be able to change?
Shot in an unusual 1:1 aspect ratio to reflect Steve’s confined world, Canadian enfant terrible Dolan’s fifth feature is a bravura ode to maternal love and suffering. Two explosive performances from Pilon and Dorval balance each other in ferocity, as the film mirrors Steve’s manic moods, veering from manic joy to towering rage. This Oedipal drama played to a standing ovation at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival; watch this heartbreaking and very human film and you’ll understand why.