From Quebecois wunderkind Xavier Dolan comes the powerful story of Laurence Emmanuel James Alia and the ten years in which she transitions into the woman she was born to be.
Melvil Poupaud is stunning as Laurence, a respected high school literature teacher and celebrated author. Laurence tells her girlfriend, Frédérique, that she has been living a lie and she wants to begin her transition to a woman. Over the next ten years, their relationship struggles mirror the challenges Laurence faces as she transitions. Initially angered by the decision and encouraged by her sister Stéfie (Monia Chokri, Dolan’s HEARTBEATS) to leave Laurence, Fred returns to give her support, but despite her clear love for Laurence as a man, can she continue to love Laurence as a woman? Suzanne Clément gives a bravura performance as Fred: emotionally volatile and fierce in her defense of Laurence, bruised and vulnerable in her inability to maintain it. Nathalie Baye (the superb French thriller, TELL NO ONE) rounds out the main cast as Laurence’s mother, unsympathetic to the trials her child is facing but never abandoning her.
With a deft touch, Xavier Dolan keeps the extraordinary actors, exquisite cinematography, and vibrant soundtrack from overshadowing the emotional core of Laurence’s saga. LAURENCE ANYWAYS earns every moment of its story, by turns heartbreaking and brimming with joie-de-vivre. Winner of the Queer Palm at the 2012 Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival and best actress for Suzanne Clément’s turn as Fred, as well as nominated for best foreign film at the 2013 Cesar Awards, LAURENCE ANYWAYS is a cinematic triumph. The Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is proud to showcase Dolan’s magnum opus.