Laurence Anyways Reviews
Four stars is I think ultimately what I'm gonna give "Laurence Anyways", if not now then sometime in the near future. It's a big movie, and like all big movies it has its peaks and valleys. Dolan is an incredible talent who very soon is going to more expertly match his heart-on-sleeve ambition with something that's more reined in. Not that "Laurence" is a bait and switch. Under all the flaws and temptation, or maybe even because of them, is a brilliant, beautiful beast. (83/100)
However, the beauty of this film is that it's riddled with powerful moments where Dolan knows exactly what to say and how to say it. Add to that a couple of strong performances and genuine moments of sheer beauty and you have a (somewhat) sophomoric effort that's well worth discovering.
Much of the flamboyance, look and overall style from his first major film, "Heartbeats," is here. To his credit, Dolan pursues a much deeper level of humanity via melodrama in "Laurence Anyways." The film is bold and gushes imagery, music, emotions and ideas. It is an ambitious undertaking for a filmmaker this young.
Xavier Dolan beats the odds and the film works. The problem here is that the movie works "despite" Dolan. The actors give such strong performances and the story is exploring aspects that have sadly never been fully explored until only recently.
It is impossible to dismiss "Laurence Anyways" as it signals the arrival of a potentially important filmmaker. The challenge one faces in truly enjoying the movie is that it is all just too much. Never quite surreal, but then never quite grounded enough to fully "swallow" -- this is a world that is only ever half formed. But a half of Dolan's world offers more than many other's full effort. It is a worthy but flawed film.