Director Jean-Marc Vallée’s C.R.A.Z.Y. explores the triumph and beauty of acceptance, both of
oneself and others. Spanning two decades, the film chronicles the life of young
gay male Zac (Marc-André Grondin), focusing on the contentious relationship he
has with his father Gervais (Michel Côté). The pain they endure, the lessons
they teach one another and, ultimately, the love they exude for one another helped
make this heart-warming coming-of-age film a smash hit in its native
ringing up over $5 million in theatrical receipts.
Zachary Beaulieu was born on Christmas Day in 1960, a symbolic
blessing indicative of his power to heal, according to his very Catholic mother (Danielle Poulx). Of his five sons, Gervais seems to favor Zac over the others, but Zac’s birth date
is just one of many things that set him apart from his siblings. When Gervais begins
to witness unusual behavior in his son at an early age (including Zac’s preference
for his mother’s clothing), their relationship undergoes a change; he becomes distant
and disdainful of him, an aversion that Zac will spend the rest of his
childhood trying to overcome. Zac still shows signs of those tendencies through
his teenage years (such as his David Bowie-style glam-rock look), but his
father’s conservative values push him to repress his sexuality for a long time.
As Zac ultimately moves towards self-actualization, Gervais must also come to
grips with the reality about his son, and grapple with acceptance of his
C.R.A.Z.Y. was a
sensation on the festival circuit, playing at the Toronto International Film
Festival, picking up an audience award at AFI Fest, and winning 10 Genie Awards
including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Côté). It’s easy to see why. The film is nicely acted, and superbly constructed by Vallée. (Much praise has also
rightly been given to the eclectic soundtrack of the movie, which ranges from Pink
Floyd and the Rolling Stones to Patsy Cline and David Bowie, and a European friend of mine recently mentioned was a club re-mix staple in Amsterdam). The only big knock on the movie is that its script is a bit repetitive and married to structural clichés, in that it elongates the arc of sibling bickering to such a degree that resolution feels forestalled instead of worked through and arrived at. Still, there’s some fine work here, if one is inclined to be interested in coming-out stories.
Presented in a regular Amray case, in 1:85 anamorphic widescreen B- (Movie) D (Disc)
and with a French language Dolby digital 5.1 sound, C.R.A.Z.Y.
comes with English subtitles, obviously. There are unfortunately no supplemental DVD extras to distinguish this disc.
B- (Movie) D (Disc)