Canadian director Charles Binamé brings us an intense thriller, Elephant Song, which had its Scandinavian premiere at the Göteborg Film Festival this year.

Psychiatrist Dr. Toby Green (Bruce Greenwood) is called away from his wife (Carrie-Anne Moss) and their Christmas Eve preparations to interview a patient about the sudden disappearance of his colleague Dr. Lawrence (Colm Feore). He must do all he can to complete the investigation before the news goes public and another scandal rocks the hospital.

Mental patient Michael (Xavier Dolan) may have some information on the psychiatrist’s disappearance but he finds playing mind games with Dr. Green much more entertaining than simply co-operating.

Green is convinced that Michael is hiding knowledge about Dr. Lawrence and, we find out, is in no hurry to go home to his complicated personal life, despite his wife and niece’s visit to the hospital during his interview. Determined to find Dr. Lawrence, he ignores the warnings of the person who knows Michael best, Nurse Susan Peterson (Catherine Keener), and walks straight into a trap set up by his hyper-intelligent and highly-manipulative opposite.Elephant Song/Melenny

It’s a complex mental showdown between the increasingly pressured doctor and his domineering patient as the stakes are constantly raised and time is running out. Throughout this mentla scrap it becomes harder and harder to tell who is winning this game. Michael’s own sense of humor adds some lightness to the otherwise dark thriller.

Inspired by the raw and brilliant writings of Nicolas Billon, Elephant Song is an extremely intense and nerve-wracking film, in which the viewer never knows what to expect from Michael and his plans.

An elegant, smart and exceedingly well-acted thriller, the film seems to be a metaphor for the young mind of Michael and this exchange with Dr. Green is not about finding out the truth but instead about his attempt at some attention and love that the young boy never had in his life.