Game of Thrones Appetizer

Kit Harrington Stars in a Mysterious Drama

BY: Claire Connors

The starry cast of this psychodrama may be its best feature, and perhaps the only reason to see the 2018 Toronto Film Festival offering, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. But we’ll admit it at the get-go, we will sit through anything that stars our beloved Jon Snow, aka actor Kit Harington.

Much like in real life, Harington plays a huge TV star, Donovan, and the object of desire of many, including his young queer fan, Rupert played by The Room’s brilliant little star, Jacob Tremblay. Based on director Xavier Dolan’s own experience of writing Leonard DiCaprio a fan letter when he was a teenaged actor, Rupert starts a pen pal exchange with his secretly gay hero. (FYI, Dolan doesn’t confirm if Leo responded to his missives.) Natalie Portman is Rupert’s actress mother who searches for her baby daddy while poor Rupert whiles away his time in a British prep school writing love letters to John.

Meanwhile, John F. Donovan has his own mommy issues with Grace (Susan Sarandon) over-protecting her closeted son. After Donovan dies suddenly, Rupert is left to figure out his own path in the wake of this tragic turn. Years later, when he’s 21 and famous in his own right, he writes a memoir of his letter-writing relationship with Donovan. Thandie Newton (Westworld) shows up as a bitchy journalist, questioning Rupert’s truth as well as his lack of interest in real world problems. Ouch.

Veteran actors Kathy Bates (On the Basis of Sex) and Michael Gambon (Harry Potter) stop by to keep things interesting, but really the main reason to see this movie is to keep from losing our minds before the April return of Game of Thrones. We’re counting the minutes until Jon and Khaleesi begin their fight for the Iron Throne together.

The Death and Life of John F. Donovan opens March 7th and Game of Thrones begins April 14th on HBO.