Xavier Dolan / 2012, Cannes, Hamburg, Toronto, Vancouver / 168’
Laurence is a respected literature professor who decides to embark on the transition from man to woman in Xavier Dolan’s third feature film, Laurence Anyways. However probing of identity this topic may seem, it is love that captures Dolan’s attention— the love Laurence maintains for Frédérique, who craves the arms of a man; the love Frédérique maintains for Laurence, though he can’t continue living life as anything other than a woman. Love that transforms dreary Montreal streets and bleak winter vistas with moments of magic— water flooding into a living room from a book of poetry, fluorescent clothes raining from the sky when the two reunite.
Love, in Laurence Anyways, is a story that goes on too long, and transcends all things: gender, sex, violence, discrimination, and the cruelty of a world not yet primed to understand.