Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways wants to show viewers that people are different. The titular character is born a man, which is said to be a biological mistake. In his heart, he has always been female. He even had a two year relationship with girlfriend Frederique before he tells her of his wish to have a sex change operation.
At this point in their lives, Fred could either go with the change or live Laurence on his own. Director Dolan manages to make the characters in Laurence Anyways more than skin deep. He shows the beauty inside Fed and Laurence. The movie is a romantic melodrama that takes place in over a decade of their lives. The movie manages to tug the hearts of its viewers.
The characters have faced difficult life choices. Laurence Anyways also shows happy moments and victories. In her first day as a woman, Laurence is so happy that the class turned into a dance party. Then an island affair has turned into anger.
Director Dolan balances the highs and lows of the characters with surprises along the way. He tries to make each scene original even if he is not ashamed to steal from every aspect of visual pop culture, such as music videos, fashion, cinema or photography.
This is personified by Laurence who has two opposing self-images since he was born. Frederique tries her best to support Laurence and be the man in his life. The story has competing timelines as well. It ends on both the first and last meetings the two characters will have. The title is also the first thing viewers see and the last thing they will hear. Everything is going against each other and yet they are balanced.
Laurence Anyways covers a long time span. It has a long runtime and stylized enough to be described as indulgent. It is not for everyone but it does have its good points.