It's Only the End of the World

It's Only the End of the World

Film poster
Directed by Xavier Dolan
Produced by
  • Sylvain Corbeil
  • Xavier Dolan
  • Nancy Grant
  • Nathanael Kermit
Screenplay by Xavier Dolan
Based on Juste la fin du monde
by Jean-Luc Lagarce
Music by Gabriel Yared
Cinematography André Turpin
Edited by Xavier Dolan
  • Sons of Manual
  • MK2 Productions
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 19 May 2016 (2016-05-19) (Cannes)
  • 21 September 2016 (2016-09-21) (Quebec & France)
Running time
97 minutes
  • Canada
  • France
Language French
Budget €6.9 million[1]
Box office $7.7 million[2]

It's Only the End of the World (French: Juste la fin du monde) is a 2016 Canadian-French drama film written, edited and directed by Xavier Dolan. The film is based on the play Juste la fin du monde by Jean-Luc Lagarce and stars Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival[3][4] where it won the Grand Prix and the Ecumenical Jury Prize.[5] It was selected as the Canadian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards.[6]

The film was released in Quebec and France on 21 September 2016.[7]


Louis, a terminally ill writer, returns home after 12 years of absence to announce his impending death to his family. A reunion filled with doubts and tensions ensues.



Dolan described the extensive work required to adapt the stage play for film:[8]

I tried to keep the idiosyncrasies and the singularity of Lagarce's vernacular as much as I could.... The play is verbose, the language nervous, and prolix. The characters correct their own grammar constantly, beating themselves up, rewording their own sentences. I kept all that as is, basically - but evidently had to cut down many monologues in size, and some episodes were of course dropped. What was really reshaped is the structure. The second half of the play is almost entirely abstract. Characters talk to everyone and no one, all on stage, yet in different places.... It was very theatrical, I guess, and didn’t provide us with a proper build-up. The climax in the play is only between the lead role and his brother, and is 8 pages long.... So I had to recycle bits and pieces from earlier scenes, omitted scenes and scenes I invented from scratch in order to write a second half, and the end.

Plans for Dolan to direct a film titled Juste la fin du monde, with Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel starring, were announced in April 2015. Through support from Telefilm Canada, the film would be produced by Sons of Manual's Nancy Grant and Dolan and MK2 Productions's Nathanaël Karmitz along with Sylvain Corbeil. Seville International would handle the international sales of the film.[9][10] Principal photography began on 26 May 2015 in Montreal.[11][12]


Plans for Diaphana/MK2 to release the film in France, while Entertainment One and Les Films Seville would distribute the film in Canada, were announced in April 2015.[13] The first image from the film, featuring Cotillard, was released on 13 June 2015.[14][15] The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2016.[3][4] It was featured in competition at the Sydney Film Festival in June 2016.[16] The film was also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.[17] Its release in Quebec and France was scheduled for 21 September 2016.[18]


Critical response

Cannes screening

Director and stars at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

When screened at the Cannes Film Festival, It's Only the End of the World received mixed reviews from film audiences and critics.[19] Dolan told a Cannes news conference: "There are some great reviews that have been published. Maybe it takes a little while for the film to come to life and for people to not only watch it, but to listen to it. But to me, this is my best film."[20] He denounced a review in The Playlist that interpreted the film as autobiographical. He said: "This is not journalism. It's gossip. It's pretending to be a sophisticated analysis, but really it's cheap psychology."[21][22]

The film won the Grand Prix and the Ecumenical Jury Prize at that festival.[23] The announcement that Dolan's film had won the Grand Prix was greeted with boos from journalists who were viewing the ceremony in another room.[24] Dolan accepted the award with great emotion and quoted Anatole France: "Je préfère la folie des passions à la sagesse de l'indifférence." (I prefer the madness of the emotions to the wisdom of indifference.)[25]

Broader response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 45% approval rating based on 31 reviews, with an average score of 5.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "It's Only the End of the World is stocked with talent and boasts a story steeped in conflict, but the end result proves a disappointing misfire from writer-director Xavier Dolan."[26] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 48, based on 11 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[27]

Box office

In France, It's Only the End of the World was released to 391 theatres, debuting at number one at the box office, and selling 405,031 tickets.[28]

See also


  1. "Juste La Fin Du Monde". JP's Box-Office.
  2. "It's Only the End of the World (Juste la fin du monde)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  3. 1 2 "2016 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup". IndieWire. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  4. 1 2 "Cannes 2016: Film Festival Unveils Official Selection Lineup". Variety. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  5. "Cannes Film Festival Winners: Palme d'Or To Ken Loach's 'I, Daniel Blake'". Deadline. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  6. Vlessing, Etan (23 September 2016). "Oscars: Canada Selects 'It's Only the End of the World' for Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  7. Jaugernauth, Kevin (5 April 2016). "Xavier Dolan's 'It's Only The End Of The World' Will Open In Quebec On September 21st". Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  8. Roxborough, Scott (17 May 2016). "Cannes: Xavier Dolan on His Competition Entry and His Love of 'Home Alone'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  9. "Cannes: Marion Cotillard, Lea Seydoux Join Xavier Dolan's Next Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. 28 April 2015.
  10. "Seville International Posts Strong Sales On Xavier Dolan's 'It's Only The End Of The World' – Cannes". 12 May 2015.
  11. "Dolan se sent "comme une meilleure personne"". La Presse (in French). 25 May 2015.
  12. "Xavier Dolan dévoile une photo du tournage de son film "Juste la fin du monde" sur Instagram". Le Huffington Post (in French). 29 May 2015.
  13. "Cannes: Marion Cotillard, Lea Seydoux Join Xavier Dolan's Next Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. 28 April 2015.
  14. "Marion Cotillard clair obscure pour Xavier Dolan sur la première photo de Juste la fin du monde". AlloCiné (in French). 13 June 2015.
  15. "First Look: Marion Cotillard In Xavier Dolan's 'It's Only The End Of The World'". The Playlist. 13 June 2015.
  16. "Here are the 2016 Sydney Film Festival competition films". SBS. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  17. "It's Only the End of the World". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  18. "IT'S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD directed by Xavier Dolan in Official Competition at the 69th Cannes Film Festival". Entertainment One. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  19. Nordine, Michael (19 May 2016). "'It's Only the End of the World' Reviews: Xavier Dolan's Latest Is a 'Total Misfire'". Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  20. Leavitt, Sarah (19 May 2016). "Xavier Dolan says latest at Cannes is his 'best film' yet". CBC News. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  21. Zeitchik, Steven (20 May 2016). "Cannes favorite Xavier Dolan targets his critics: 'This is not journalism. It's gossip.'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 May 2016. It's simply impossible to believe that a story this stridently self-pitying could not refer, more or less explicitly, to writer/director Dolan himself," read the review from the online publication the Playlist. "It suggests a level of martyred self-involvement on Dolan's part that is tantamount to a persecution complex.
  22. Howell, Peter (19 May 2016). "Montreal filmmaker Xavier Dolan faces Cannes criticism calmly". The Star. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  23. "Dolan defies critics, wins Cannes Grand Prix". CBC News. 22 May 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  24. Picard, André (22 May 2016). "Canadian director Xavier Dolan scores polarizing Grand Prix win at Cannes". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  25. "Cannes 2016 - Xavier Dolan : un Grand Prix, (encore) des larmes… et une citation d'Anatole France". 23 May 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  26. "It's Only the End of the World (Juste la fin du monde) (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  27. "It's Only the End of the World". Metacritic.
  28. "21-27 Septembre 2016". JP's Box-Office.

External links

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