9 out of 10


Coming-of-Age Story

C.R.A.Z.Y. is the newest film by aclaimed Montreal director Jean-Marc Vallee. Following the life of Zac Beaulieu as he grows up in small town Quebec in the 60's, 70's and 80's, it is a wonderful testament to not only the changes in Quebec society and culture, but also the effects on those growing up in such tumultuous times.

With an astounding soundtrack including tracks by The Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd, both the music and performances are incredible. Newcomer Marc Andre Grondin is perfect in his role as Zachary, and Michel Cote (Sur le seuil, Crusing Bar) is excellent as his father, who has to come to terms with the social changes in Quebec, the mishaps of his sons and the revelation of Zac's sexuality, which causes tremendous rift in the family. The interplay of the four brothers is also realistic and a joy to watch and the scenes and dramas of the family's relationships display a precious and not often seen side of Quebec life.

Based on the Patsy Cline song (an integral part of the film), the title represents the names of each of Gervais Beaulieu's sons - Christien, the troublemaker, the well behaved Raymond, Antoine, the sporty son, Zac, and Yvon the youngest. Focusing mainly on Zac, (the younger version who is played by the director's son Emile), Vallee explores themes of isolation and rebellion in a strict religious Quebec society. Marked by moving scenes from Zac's life, it includes a hilarious sequence using the Rolling Stones Sympathy for the Devil and David Bowie's Space Oddity, both a powerful comment on teenager life and feelings of being an outsider in a small French Canadian community.

Selected as the Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards, it contains an excellent screenplay and fabulous direction. The story is gritty and realistic and even at it's harshest and darkest moments is a wonderful touching drama.

Crazy to miss this one

Film Critic: Jenny M Lillies