Xavier Dolan’s The Death and Life of John F Donovan will be premiered at the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from September 6 to 16, reported Indiewire.
This is the first English-language film by the celebrated Canadian filmmaker, whose credits include the French films Mommy (2014) and It’s Only the End of the World (2016).
The film is centred on a young actor (Jacob Tremblay) who recalls the letters he wrote to and received from John F Donovan (Kit Harrington), a popular American television star, who is now dead. “The script explores the impact those letters had on both their lives,” Indiewire said. The movie also stars Natalie Portman, Ben Schnetzer and Susan Sarandon.
The Death and Life of John F Donovan will be screened in the Toronto festival’s Special Presentation section, where it joins the world premieres of Barry Jenkins’s If Beale Street Could Talk and Steve McQueen’s Widows.
Dolan’s film made headlines earlier this year when Jessica Chastain’s character was dropped. Donovan had released a statement saying the decision had nothing to do with Chastain or her performance and was based purely on the film’s “editorial and narrative” content.