Xavier Dolan: back at Cannes, loving Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois
Xavier Dolan made headlines twice this week, first with the announcement yesterday that his latest feature Laurence Anyways will be part of the 65th Cannes Film Festival. He also had a few words on, um, solidarity with the student strike and the charming Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois…
The much-anticipated announcement from the world’s most prestigious festival weighed on the young director, whose precocious 2009 acceptance to the Directors’ Fortnight with J’ai tué ma mère adds pressure for him to be accepted with every new work. Of the 1779 films viewed by the Cannes selection committee, only 54 were chosen, with Dolan’s forthcoming Laurence Anyways showing off-competition in the Un Certain Regard screenings.
Xavier Dolan is no stranger to the Un Certain Regard category, where his Bertolucci-esque Heartbeats screened in the same series in 2010. Laurence Anyways tells the story of 10 years in the life of Laurence Alia (played by the moody Melvil Poupaud), a teacher who decides on his 30th birthday to change gender. He reveals his decision to his girlfriend (Québécoise TV actress Suzanne Clément), and the couple’s struggle to adapt makes up much of the rest of the story.
“Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is very sexy”
Xavier Dolan talks about his third film as a love story. Along with his first two feature films, he admits to having unconsciously created a trilogy about unrequited love. Unconcerned with demystifying transsexuality, Laurence Anyways instead uses the notion of a sex change as the manifestation of the final taboo, the ultimate social and biological difference. Laurence’s desire to live as a woman is then used as a way of addressing how society (and microcosms of society) treat minorities.
But he wasn’t only making headlines for the Cannes announcement yesterday. In an interview on the TVA news channel LCN on April 19, Dolan segued from a news edit about the student strike (that came just before his segment) to talk about the polemical spokesman for student strike coalition La CLASSE. “I would like to say first and foremost that Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is doing an amazing job; he’s very articulate and he has impressed me a lot; but also I find, and this is entirely unimportant, that he’s very sexy.” Nadeau-Dubois was not available for comment.