The Death and Life of John F. Donovan

Critics Consensus

The Death and Life of John F. Donovan finds writer-director Xavier Dolan flailing at profundity with a technically assured drama that never makes sense of its own ideas.

21%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 28

61%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 187
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Movie Info

A decade after the death of an American TV star, a young actor reminisces about the written correspondence he once shared with the former, as well as the impact those letters had on both their lives.

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Critic Reviews for The Death and Life of John F. Donovan

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (22)

  • It's far from perfect, but still manages to be a fascinating attempt at exploring sexual identity, isolation and the consequences of fame.

    January 7, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Convoluted gay-identity drama drags; drug abuse, smoking.

    December 19, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Its spectacularity is almost asphyxiating, but... each frame is also an excuse to plunge into the euphoria of its drama. [Full review in Spanish]

    December 18, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • "The Death and Life of John F. Donovan" is a potentially powerful story, though one not successfully told in the slightest by Xavier Dolan.

    December 14, 2019 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Intended as a complex examination of the emotional toll of celebrity, this drama instead feels as shallow and pretentious as the characters it portrays.

    December 13, 2019 | Full Review…
  • From its contrived structure to its forced speechifying, this story... never acquires the emotional potency or coherence its themes demand.

    December 12, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Death and Life of John F. Donovan

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