Film: Laurence Anyways
Director: Xavier Dolan
Year of Release: 2012
Runtime: 168 mins.
Cast: Melvil Poupaud, Suzanne Clément, Nathalie Baye, Monia Chokri
Streaming Platform: Mubi
“Are You a confident woman?”
“Confident, No. Determined”
35 year old Laurence is in love with a woman named Fred. However, Laurence seems to make peace with the fact that he himself has always desired to be a woman. Filled up with these thoughts and cold encouragements by his mother and Fred, Laurence transitions as a woman in his social life while maintaining a romantic relationship with Fred. But easier said than done, Things take unexpected turns, relationships plunge into a vast trench of confusion as Laurence’s quest for identity continues.
The Canadian-French director Xavier Dolan aims the trajectory of the film amongst the top altars of the cinematic world. However, significantly highlighting his name in the good books of cinema but not yet delivering up to the expected potential. The film is filled with musical interjections though highlighting yet shallowing the depths of Director’s vision. But in recapitulation, the Director has achieved unimaginable depths through his craft, Winning him the Cannes Jury Award.
Cinematography: Yves Bélanger
Bélanger’s mastery in his craft leaves the viewer bewitched in an unending trance. The use of lights, colors and depths acts like air to the lungs of the film. Being able to witness the extravagance of colors blooming in neutral backgrounds is a treat to the eyes. All in all, the cinematography adds the required passion into the film making an unforgettable impression in the eyes of the viewer.
Both Melvil Poupaud & Suzanne Clément deliver career defining performances, slaying it with their use of rich expressions. Especially, Poupaud delivers an absolutely stunning contribution to the ensemble. The audience seems to grow with the protagonist, empowering him at every step of his journey and feeling the emotional catharsis with him. Not to forget Nathalie Baye who does not fail to amaze the audience at any point with her beguiling acting skills.
The film released 9 years ago yet manages to deliver to the viewer like a contemporary piece of art. Prevalent through the decade, the film is about discovering one’s identity and embarking on a journey that would test you to your core. So, that the fall seems to end when you have achieved yourself (reference to the film). In a society where a person struggles to find even the right pronouns for him/herself, this film delivers a catharsis to their inquisitive side.
Laurence Anyways on Mubi is one of a kind art piece with career defining performances from the cast as well as the Director. Leaving it’s viewers with a longing for more, Laurence Anyways delivers to it’s expectations carving an identity out of it’s flamboyance that remains distinct Universally.