With the Cannes Film Festival now come and gone, and most of the major/buzzworthy movies acquiring some kind of stateside distribution (including Leos Carax's difficult and genuinely WTF "Holy Motors"), what's the deal with Xavier Dolan's "Laurence Anyways"?
The third effort from Quebecois filmmaker Xavier Dolan -- and his third at Cannes -- arrived on the Croisette with some anticipation and very mild controversy (he stated he was disappointed it wasn't in the main competition, and this writer agrees it deserved a spot); he's had just as many critics as supporters. His films are certainly not wanting for flair, with the director, thus far in his career, favoring bold Almodovar-ian color schemes, slow motion and an expressive eye toward narrative that has left him with the label of self-indulgent by some. And while that can be debated, it's pretty exciting to see a young filmmaker grabbing the bull by the horns and putting it all out there, and certainly there are very few directors tackling the kind of story he does in "Laurence Anyways" -- a decade-spanning tale about a couple who deal with the emotional riptide caused when the man decides to transition into a woman.
As we noted in our review from the fest, the film "contains a voice so pronounced, and so specific, that Dolan is going to be one to watch for years to come...Unwieldy and unkempt but both moving and dizzying to experience, 'Laurence Anyways' is Dolan's grandest statement yet." So where is the stateside distributor for this? Last month, Kino Lorber snapped up his first movie "I Killed My Mother" for a long awaited U.S. debut, but still nothing on his third movie. We'd wager the subject matter combined with the film's epic, nearly three hour runtime is making it a hard sell, but we hope someone rolls the dice and takes a chance with this movie, which this writer believes could earn a strong following.
Anyway, until then, here are some new images from the film. Check them out and in case you missed it, the trailer gives a great sense of the visuals (this thing is immaculately shot) and narrative tone of the film. [Kinopoisk]