The English-language debut of prolific director Xavier Dolan is a marvel. Set in three countries and featuring a stunning ensemble cast that includes Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman and "Game of Thrones" heartthrob Kit Harington, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan explores the task of being true to oneself in a world mired in illusion.
John F. Donovan (Harington), stunningly handsome star of film and TV, died alone and unexpectedly following a series of scandals. One fan in particular, 11-year-old Rupert Turner (Jacob Tremblay), has some singular insight into John's soul. For five years John and Rupert were secret pen pals. Fast-forward to the present. Rupert (played as an adult by Ben Schnetzer), now a successful actor in his own right, has written a memoir about his correspondence with John. In an interview with reporter Audrey Newhouse (Thandie Newton), Rupert will reveal all he knows about John's troubled life, his hidden homosexuality and the various compromises that John made for fame - and how John's tenderness and generosity inspired that little boy who was desperate to connect with the man he idolized.
Darting between flashback and postmortem, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan condemns the cruelty and prejudices that thwarted John's too-short life while celebrating the depth of his connection to those who truly loved him.
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