Known for lighting up the film festival circuit abroad, Quebecois director Xavier Dolan may have the chance to bring his latest film to a silver screen near you. Breaking Glass Pictures, an American film distributor, negotiated a deal last week for rights to Laurence Anyways, Dolan's third feature film. No dates have been set for the film's American release, but with countries like Japan and the United Kingdom lining up to the distribution table, the race is certainly on.
After an unfulfilled life as a man, middle-aged Laurence (French actor Melvil Poupaud) decides to realize his dream of becoming a woman--and he asks for his girlfriend's help (Suzanne Clement). Set in the 1990s, the film covers their 10-year journey with a serious look at transsexualism in the modern day and the impact a transition can have on those closest to oneself. With meticulous storytelling and stunning visuals, Laurence Anyways is almost epic in its treatment of gender, family, and love--an Odyssey for the queer times.
Dolan, who is no stranger to critics' praise (and scorn), has certainly felt the love this past year thanks to his latest endeavor. Laurence Anyways snagged prizes at both Cannes and Toronto, with star Clement walking away with Un Certain Regard for best actress. The film will also finish a visit at the AFI Festival this week in Los Angeles.
Despite taking on what he called during an interview with TV5Monde, "the last taboo," referring to transgenderism, Dolan insists the film's prize-winning power lies in the love story.
Imitating the melodramatic voice-overs for action films, he imagines that the American trailer would say something like, "How far would you go for the man you love?" Kitsch as it may be, that's the central question. And with Breaking Glass's announcement, maybe he'll get to see that American trailer after all--sans gimmicky action references (fingers crossed).