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Suzanne Clément in a scene from “Laurence Anyways”

Shayne Laverdière

2.5 out of 4 stars

Laurence Anyways
Directed by
Xavier Dolan

Clothes tumble from the skies, tears fill a room and the soundtrack throbs with everything from Duran Duran to Beethoven in 23-year-old Quebec director Xavier Dolan's lavish chronicle of a decade-long love affair between Montreal assistant film director Fred (Suzanne Clément) and her literature professor fiancé Laurence (Melvil Poupaud), who tells her on his 30th birthday that he intends to become a woman. The film is more divisive for its indulgent visual style than its gender-fluid content. Clément, who won an acting prize at Cannes, is fierce and funny, and French actor Poupaud gently dignified, but a sensitively observed simple love story of soulmates divided by social hostility gets smothered in an excessive use of montage, and a patience-straining running time of more than two and a half hours.

Oct. 5, 9:30 p.m., Granville 7; Oct. 7, 1:30 p.m., Granville 7

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