Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
Ever so slightly larger than life and ten times as funny, this richly nostalgic, ebulliently unsentimental story of a middle-class Montreal family spans the 60s to the 80s. Zachary (Marc-André Grondin, Québec’s gift to heart-throbdom, plays him from teen to adult), born in 1960, is the fourth and cutest of five very different sons. He’s his macho father’s favourite, while his mother is convinced he’s a holy child, possessing special healing powers. Filling their prescriptions is not easy for a boy who suspects from an early age that he’s less interested in girls than he is in their boyfriends – or who envisages a church levitating to the strains of The Stones’ ‘Sympathy for the Devil’. C.R.A.Z.Y. admits us into his hilarious fantasy world, sets his confusion to a Bowie soundtrack and shamelessly exploits his tumultuous 70s identity crisis for our entertainment pleasure. We watch his brothers growing up too – and every character has a wonderful, boldly drawn particularity, none more so than Zac’s volubly homophobic Dad, who comes close to stealing the film. How liberal is that?
“An ensemble of deft performances and a kick-ass soundtrack (including Charles Aznavour, Patsy Cline, Pink Floyd and David Bowie) bring vivid life to co-writer-director Jean-Marc Vallée’s coming-of-age/coming-out tale. Born in Québec on Christmas Day 1960, Zachary begins a search for self that carries him from the narrow confines of his working-class French-Canadian family to Israel’s gay night-club scene and back again. Vallée stirs a few daydreams and visions into the ordinary joys and heartaches that drive the film, edging his sharp eye for period detail with a touch of the fantastic.” — Paul Malcolm, LA Weekly