Plot Montreal, Christmas Day, 1960. The Beaulieu family welcomes a new addition: Zachary (Émile Vallée/Grondin). One of five sons, Zac initially enjoys a close relationship with his father (Coté). But as he grows up he struggles to cope with an adolescence that doesn’t seem to fit with Dad’s expectations, and the family as a whole begins to unravel.
Jean-Marc Vallée’s bold coming-of-age drama — winner of the audience award at Toronto — treads familiar ground, yet an irreverent, often caustic humour and deep compassion prevent his film from descending into soap, or the tired tropes of teen angst we’ve seen so many times before.
Anchored by great performances from Marc-Andre Grondin as the sexually confused, rebellious Zac, and Michael Coté as his traditional, Patsy Cline-loving father finding it ever more difficult to understand his beloved son, Vallée and co-screenwriter François Boulay take time to flesh out even the smallest supporting characters and sub-plots, giving the impressive cast rich material with which to play.
As context the director offers a seductively nostalgic portrait of the ’70s, splashing the screen with warm reds and oranges and stacking Zac’s record player with David Bowie and the Rolling Stones LPs, their sexual ambiguity offering the boy some kind of solace and validation in the face of the restrictive, prescriptive Catholic atmosphere in which he’s been raised.
At times it’s an ugly watch — Vallée doesn’t balk at the plain nastiness that can arise in even the most loving families — yet C.R.A.Z.Y. emerges as a warm, thoughtful vignette that offers a refreshing new take on problems as old as the human race.
Verdict Fantastic performances, sharp wit and a raw honesty breathe new life into the rites-of-passage drama.
This film was great but for me the stand out laugh out loud moment was the conversation in the bathroom between the father and the mother. "you've got a short memory". Apart from and Bull Story the best laugh I've got from a film this year.
The drama side of it all was beautifuly played out too. It's so great living 5 mins away from the Hyde Park cinema. I see so many great films there and then come on the internet to read people complaining about how they can't see the film becasue no bod... More
This is easily one of the most enjoyable films I have seen this year, both deeply touching without being sentimental and laugh out loud funny without making light of teenage angst and parental strife.
Marc-Andre Grondin gives an outstanding performance as Zac, the troubled teen. His brooding look, (attributed in no small part to impressively applied black eyeliner) and understated screen prowess is affecting and engaging. His worries and emotional quan... More
A great story of a guy growing up gay in 70`s Quebec with a family who don`t understand him and trying to be aceppted but free at the same time. Great soundtrack, good all round performances and period detail too.
Well worth seeing. Just a shame it has such a limited release probably because it`s in French with subtitiles. World cinema outside of Hollywood and the UK only seems to get a decent look in (well in this country anyway) when a film is nominated for several awards which this film ... More
Two years after "The Barbarian Invasions", here come another real treat from the french canadian. With a soundtrack going from David Bowie to Charles Aznavour and from Robert Charlebois to Pink Floyd, Jean-Marc Vallée manage to recreate the atmosphere of changes of two decades in this family portrait.
It is a fantastic movie and a great family portrait. If you loved Good Bye Lenin, you will love this wonderful piece of work. ... More
This film sounds like just the kind of thing I'm into. I've never seen a Canadian film before so it will be a new experience, but I love the style of this movie, so effortlessly poignant which sets the standard for films of the genre. Apart from the C.R.A.Z.Y David Bowie thing he's got going on I think that many people can relate to Zac and the things he's going through and I hope that this film will show what growing up is really about, darker and more honest than ever before...looking forward ... More