The movie highlights ten years in the life of a literature teacher named Laurence who transforms himself into a woman after years of concealing his feelings. Her tremulous relationship with her family is further complicated by revealing herself to them while she struggles to find comfort with her significant other Frédérique. Though others may not initially accept or understand Laurence in her true form, those who knew her before her transformation still know her as Laurence, anyways. Written by
Québécois actor, screenwriter and director Xavier Dolan's third feature film which he wrote, premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 65th Cannes International Film Festival in 2012, was screened in the Special Presentations section at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival in 2012 and is a France-Canada co-production which was shot on locations in Canada, USA and France and produced by producers Charles Gillibert, Nathanaël Karmitz and Lyse Lafontaine. It tells the story about Laurence Alia, a literature teacher and writer in his mid-30s who lives with his girlfriend Fred in Montreal. Laurence has always and secretly felt like a woman living in a man's body, but when he tells Fred that he is a transsexual and intends to become a woman, she is confronted with a truth that alters her view on him and their relationship.
Distinctly and precisely directed by Québécois filmmaker Xavier Dolan, this finely paced fictional tale which is narrated from the two main characters viewpoints, draws an involving and multifaceted portrayal of a man's struggle towards becoming a complete person and a woman's struggle to come to terms with the fact that the man she loves isn't the man she thought he was and that he has decided to have a sex-change. While notable for its colorful milieu depictions, sterling production design by Canadian production designer Anne Pritchard, cinematography by cinematographer Yves Bélanger, fine costume design and editing by Xavier Dolan, make-up, use of colors, use of music and versatile style of filmmaking, this character-driven, narrative-driven and conversational story about identity and being accepted for who one really is, depicts two interrelated studies of character and contains a great score by the Canadian band NOIA.
This romantic, humorous, melodramatic and atmospheric pop-culture drama which is set mostly in Montreal during the late 1980s and 1990s and which affectively evokes its period, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, quick-witted dialog, various characters, multiple perspectives, the prominent acting performances by French actor Melvil Poupaud, Canadian actress Suzanne Clément and the fine supporting acting performances by French actress Nathalie Baye and Canadian actress Monia Chokri. An epic, imaginative and remarkable love-story which encourages open-mindedness, confirms the vitality and importance of cinema as a visual art form and which gained, among several other awards, the award for Best Canadian Feature at the 37th Toronto Film Festival in 2012.
26 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?