The story tracks the rocky, codependent relationship between Laurence (
Laurence, meanwhile, navigates her evolving transgenderism, including settling on an appropriate "look" (Dolan, perhaps wisely, doesn't make much of the physical-surgical specifics); deals with career ups and downs, copes with her remote mother (
Stylistically, Dolan packs the proceedings with an eclectic and experimental — and occasionally pretentious — audio-visual palette that helps keep things lively even when the film bogs down in narrative excess.
But what lingers most is the notion that even had Laurence remained a man, she and Fred might have still broken up, their similarities proving more fractious than their differences. It's an intriguing, oddly satisfying conceit — if only it didn't take so very long to get there.
Rating: No MPAA rating
Running time: 2 hours, 48 minutes. In French with English subtitles
Playing at: Laemmle's Music Hall, Beverly Hills; the Downtown Independent, Los Angeles.