127 minutes – Drama, coming-of-age,
Release date: May 27, 2005
Canadian distributor: T.V.A. Films
Set in Québec, C.R.A.Z.Y. is, at its heart, a family saga that spans the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. The story revolves around the Beaulieu family and specifically Zac, or Zachary, who is born on December 25, 1960 the fourth of a family that will eventually have 5 sons. C.R.A.Z.Y. stars Michel Côté and Danielle Proulx. It also stars an incredible soundtrack. Côté plays Gervais Beaulieu, an old-fashioned, loving father. The story is based in part on the memoirs of co-writer François Boulay, who grew up with four brothers and a father who couldn’t accept his homosexuality. Director Jean-Marc Vallée has mixed in a lot of his own personal life too and even takes a minor role in the film. For example, just like the character Zachary, Vallée was born with a discoloured lock of hair. His mother believed it meant he had a gift from God. Which is maybe why he ended up making movies. C.R.A.Z.Y. has been described as a combination of a large commercial movie, and a small character-driven film. While it may be character-driven it is also driven by a soundtrack which includes some terrific music. Music by The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and others. This has been an unfortunate trend in movies that started with The Big Chill. It’s almost impossible to think of that film without beginning to sing the opening verse of “I Heard it Through The Grapevine.” While Big Chill used music brilliantly, in far too many cases since then movies with thin plots and thinner characters have used music to the point where you are forced to conclude the only reason the move got made was to generate soundtrack sales. Luckily that doesn’t happen here. In the end C.R.A.Z.Y. is a large “little” film that tells a touching coming-of-age story. It deserves your attention.
In September of 2005, C.R.A.Z.Y. was selected to be Canada’s entry in the Best Foreign Film category at the Academy Awards. Northernstars.ca chose C.R.A.Z.Y. as one of its Top 10 Canadian Films of the Decade in December of 2009.
Trailer and poster courtesy of TVA Films.