Keep the Lights On
Laurence Anyways is Xavier Dolan's third and certainly most ambitious film to date, notably so in the fact that he took himself out of the equation this time. In stepping away from the autobiographical, he examines an adult relationship between Laurence (Melvil Poupaud) and Fred (Suzanne Clément) and the ways in which Laurence's desire to live life as a woman affects it. As an actor himself, Dolan has a knack for eliciting great performances, especially from Clément, who won a best actress prize from the Un Certain Regard jury at Cannes last year, and the always reliable Nathalie Baye as Laurence's mother. While Dolan's characters have matured and his scope has broadened, he still employs some of his iffy stylized characteristics that were more forgivable when he used them for angsty young love in Les amours imaginaires (Heartbeats).
music video by director Andreas Nilsson), but I am certain that the choice was wrong. It looks like a music video, creates a mood that the film never matches, and takes place in an fuzzy, uncertain time in Laurence and the film's timeline. This is a mistake that is repeated a few times during the film. The worst scene in Laurence Anyways could effectively be the best scene in a totally different movie, but as it stands, in this particular film, it feels wholly out-of-place. In what's possibly a fantasy sequence (possibly not), Fred puts on her sexiest gown and floats into a fancy ballroom, all cut to Visage's "Fade to Grey." These out-of-place music video montages don't advance the film in any way or tell the audience anything useful about the characters; instead, they're just mere reminders that Dolan has exceptionally good taste and unfortunate indications of the director's level of maturity as a filmmaker and his inability to self-edit. The film's final scene is a misfire as well, closing a long, vibrant journey on a humdrum note.
With: Melvil Poupaud, Suzanne Clément, Nathalie Baye, Monia Chokri, Yves Jacques, Catherine Bégin, Sophie Faucher, Guylaine Tremblay, Patricia Tulasne, Mario Geoffrey, Jacob Tierney, Susan Almgren, Magalie Lépine Blondeau, Emmanuel Schwartz, Jacques Lavallée, Perrette Souplex, David Savard, Monique Spaziani, Mylène Jampanoï, Gilles Renaud, Anne-Élisabeth Bossé, Anne Dorval, Pierre Chagnon, Éric Bruneau, Alexis Lefebvre, Denys Paris, Vincent Davy, Vincent Plouffe, Alexandre Goyette
Keep the Lights On
With: Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth, Julianne Nicholson, Paprika Steen, Souleymane Sy Savane, Miguel del Toro, Justin Reinsilber, Sebastian La Cause, Maria Dizzia, Ed Vassallo, Chris Lenk