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Föreningen Film i Malmö presents
Only 25 years old and not about to pace himself with five films already under his belt in five years, French-Canadian writer-director Xavier Dolan burst onto the filmmaking scene with 2009’s “I Killed My Mother,” won the Jury Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for his latest film and even shared it with Jean-Luc Godard’s “Goodbye to Language.” Dolan’s smashing “Mommy” continues the enfant terrible filmmaker’s themes about resentment in mother-son relationships. If Dolan wasn’t already known as a wunderkind in certain filmic circles beyond Canada, he cements himself here as a true discovery whom cinephiles should keep an eye on and revisit his previous efforts. As human drama, it’s wild and alive but controlled and intimate, and as pure filmmaking, it’s bravura. At a walloping 139 minutes, “Mommy” is never less than captivating. (Excerpt by Jeremy Kibler)
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)