Laurence Alia (Poupaud) is an English professor with a steady job and a solid relationship with girlfriend Fred (Clement). Life seems settled until the day when he tells his nearest and dearest his plans to switch genders.
Montreal, 1987. Literature professor Laurence Alia (Melvil Poupaud) stuns his girlfriend (Suzanne Clément) by announcing that, at the age of 35, he intends to live the rest of his life as a woman. The aftermath forms the basis of writer-director Xavier Dolan’s emotionally honest film, which boasts a standout performance from Clément. As Laurence’s true self is set free, the stylised aspects become more pronounced, some that work as moments of pure cinema, others that resemble ’80s pop videos — especially as the soundtrack includes cuts by Duran Duran, Visage and The Cure.
It's hard to imagine that the prodigiously gifted Dolan is still in his early twenties. This is another work of marvellous maturity and assurance.
Reviewed by David Hughes