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Föreningen Film i Malmö presents
2012, 168´ + intermission
Going into “Laurence Anyways,” I hoped it wouldn’t be a laundry list of transgender issues. Not because we shouldn’t deal with them, but because we won’t until they’re sold to us as non-issues. I’m not giving anything away by saying “Laurence Anyways” is about a transgender woman. And though that element is central to the story, writer and director Xavier Dolan trusts us to assume that transwoman Laurence (Melvil Poupaud) will face discrimination. So rather than linger on inevitabilities, (the film) instead zeroes in on the impact of transgender on a relationship, and tries to understand what makes two people stay together or fall apart.
The film’s biggest strength is dealing with a taboo as if it wasn’t. When Laurence starts dressing in women’s clothing, she looks less like Jenna Talackova and more like an awkward man in a skirt, because it takes time to get comfortable with who you are. Eventually she returns to pants because a dress doesn’t make the lady. Despite her ability for great tenderness, Laurence can also be selfish and rude. She’s not an angelic transgender heroine; she’s just exceedingly normal. (Excerpt by Olivia Collette)