'Mommy' Trailer: Director Xavier Dolan Thinks Outside the Box

Anything about the trailer look out of the ordinary? It should

Fans of Xavier Dolan’s art house films may be quicker to recognize the 1:1 aspect ratio (which forms a square image as opposed to the more common 4:3 and 16:9) that the highly visual director uses in his newest film, Mommy, but to the general public, the tightly framed close-ups and warm lighting depicted in its trailer may just seem oddly enticing.

In the trailer for the drama flick, which won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and will vie for a nomination for best foreign language film at the 87th Academy Awards in 2015, the 25-year-old writer-director explores a quasi-dystopian future where Canadian law forces parents to take responsibility for their emotionally disturbed children or send them to detention centers. Unwilling to give up on her son, played by Antoine-Olivier Pilon, single mother Diane “Die” Despres (Anne Dorval) attempts to continue her Francophone working-class lifestyle in the suburbs of Quebec while homeschooling her son and keeping him out of trouble.

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According to THR’s Cannes reviewer, Stephen Dalton, “The frame widens during two brief scenes of hope and optimism, an elegant metaphor for the characters literally expanding their narrow horizons.” A gimmick he claimed “earned a rare round of mid-movie applause in Cannes.”

Mommy hit theaters Sept. 19 in Canada and was picked up for U.S. distribution by Roadside Attractions for an early 2015 release, though the company has yet to set a specific date.