Director: Xavier Dolan
Cast: Melvil Poupaud, Suzanne Clément, Nathalie Baye
Running Time: 168 mins
Plot: The story of the romantic relationship between Laurence (Poupaud) and Fred (Clément) before, during, and after Laurence goes through a sex change.
It is a rare occurrence these days to find a film that is incomparable in the positive sense of the word, and takes the audience on a journey, the likes of which most of them would never dream of. LAURENCE ANYWAYS does just that. Full of vivid colours, arresting photography, and a diverse international soundtrack, it is a sensuous treat from start to finish.
Admittedly, the subject matter is foreign to most people, and you could be forgiven for assuming it is inaccessible, but the story is primarily about a relationship between two people, regardless of their sexual preferences. Although Laurence’s sex change is a prominent plot point, it is more about the effect it has on their relationship, and on themselves as individuals. Any trepidation and doubt should fall away almost immediately because the characters are full of life from the outset, and their story is presented in such an articulate way as to be thoroughly absorbing.
Furthermore, the lengthy running time (almost three hours) is in no way indulgent or unnecessary, and absolutely flies by as you are immersed into the world of these strange and wonderful people.
Xavier Dolan, the twenty-three-year-old who wrote and directed the film, appears to be a visionary who is unwilling to compromise his motives in any way. It is a rare and highly respectable trait that is all too hard to find, especially in one so young. There aren’t enough individuals in filmmaking, so those we do have should be praised and nurtured. There isn’t even the slightest whiff of déjà vu or formula about LAURENCE ANYWAYS. It’s a unique baby, born of a unique mother, which is what all highly revered art should be.
LAURENCE ANYWAYS arrives in UK cinemas 30th November and is awaiting a US release.