|LAURENCE ANYWAYS (director: Xavier Dolan; cinematographer: Yves Bélanger; editor: Xavier Dolan; music: Noia; cast: Nathalie Baye (Julienne Alia), Melvil Poupaud (Laurence Alia), Suzanne Clement (Frederique Bellair), Suzanne Almgren (Journalist), Yves Jacques (Michel Lafortune), Emmanuel Schwartz (Baby Rose), Monia Chokri (Stéfanie Belair), Magalie Lepine-Blondeau (Charlotte), David Savard (Albert); Runtime: 161; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Charles Gillibert/ Nathanaël Karmitz/ Lyse Lafontaine; Breaking Glass Pictures; 2012-Canada-in French with English subtitles)|
|"A stylish and
immodest transgender melodrama."
by Dennis Schwartz
A stylish and immodest transgender melodrama written, directed and edited by the 24-year-old Xavier Dolan ("I Killed My Mother"/"Heartbeats"). It's set in the 1990s and spans 10 years, as it shows its protagonist go from a male to a female. Its nearly three-hour length is a chore to get through. But it does elicit keen emotional responses and expresses an intensity over its controversial dramatics.
(Melvil Poupaud) is a 35-year-old literature teacher
in Montreal, who is dating the redhead Frederique
He will soon tell his woman that 'he’s a
woman in a man’s body.' When he also tells this
to his mom (Nathalie Baye), she
freaks out just like his girlfriend. Next thing you
know, Laurence comes to school in orange heels
and a green skirt, and while walking to class in the
halls the tune of Headman’s “Moisture” blasts out in
results in Laurence being fired and getting beat up by
a barroom homophobic. He's saved from isolation when
taken in by the Roses, an eccentric family of
queer performance artists. Meanwhile Fred, a
video-maker, also gets canned as she's deemed guilty
the lovers separate, Laurence dates
the straight-laced Charlotte (Magalie Lepine-Blondeau)
and Fred has a kid with her boring hubby Albert (David
The film gets across its point about the emotional and social costs of trans-sexuality, and how society is so adverse to diversity. I just wouldn't call it film that I could snuggle up to.
REVIEWED ON 2/11/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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