Award-winning director Charles Binamé unfolds a story of drama, deception, and desperation in Elephant Song. Adapted from the play by Nicolas Billon, the film delves into the mind of troubled psychiatric patient Michael (masterfully portrayed by Xavier Dolan, detailing the complex back-and-forth between him and the unprepared doctor who attempts to untangle his web of lies.
When psychiatrist Lawrence (Colm Feore) goes mysteriously missing from a hospital that has recently been plagued by scandal, Dr. Toby Green (Bruce Greenwood) is called in to investigate before the news goes public. Convinced that Michael is hiding knowledge about his colleague — and in no rush to go home to his complicated personal life — Green is determined to control both the situation and the patient, adamantly ignoring the advice from the person who knows Michael best, Nurse Susan Peterson (Catherine Keener). As Michael demonstrates his superior intelligence and manipulative nature, it becomes increasingly unclear who ultimately dominates, patient or doctor.
There are strong performances from all of the actors in Elephant Song, but as usual Catherine Keener delivers the goods in spades. She is so confident yet vulnerable and that we as an audience find it hard to take our eyes off of her.
I had the extraordinary pleasure of talking to Catherine Keener at the Toronto International Film Festival in September about the film. Our conversation is so at ease, it was like two long time girlfriends chatting over lunch or coffee. If you are as big of a Catherine Keener fan as I am, you will totally love this interview. Please see the link below for our chat.
Elephant Song opens in Toronto and Ottawa on February 27th and in Vancouver on March 6th