“C.R.A.Z.Y.”–a Canadian beauty


A Canadian Beauty

Amos Lassen

Due out on commercial DVD in February and available now at Netflix is an amazing and bold little movie “C.R.A.Z.Y.” (Red Envelope Entertainment). It has already been hailed as the best movie ever made in Quebec. “C.R.A.Z.Y.” is the story of a young homosexual (although nerve really stated in the film) who was born in the 1960s. The viewer watches as he evolves and comes to terms with his sexual identity. The questions he has about himself could not be answered then because in the 1960s homosexuality was not openly discussed. The best adjective that I can use about this film is to say that it is positively charming. The cast is strong, the music is great, and the photography is clear and beautiful.

The main character, Zac, who is far from the perfect son and is becoming aware of just who he is. We watch as he grapples with his life and with his family as well as oncoming sexuality. There is a great deal of humor here and the drama quotient is high.

Basically the movie is about two love affairs—a father’s love for his sons and a son’s love for his father. Zac Beaulieu, out main character was born on Christmas day, 1960 and is not like his brothers. Spanning the next twenty years, Zac embarks on a journey of life which leads him to self acceptance and to become the love of his father’s life.

Zac’s mother regards him as her “baby Jesus”. When he turns 15, he sees Paul for the first time and Paul is his cousin’s boyfriend and a dancer. His father looks favorably upon him and even though dad feels that he is gay, he is very proud when Zac and a girlfriend come home and go into the bedroom. But Zac knows that girls are not really for him.

This is not just a gay coming out story; it is about growing up Catholic and believing in miracles. The director, Jean-arc Vallee, uses fantasy passages to show Zac’s fantasies and one scene where Zac is in a large cathedral, Zac sees himself as an angel who rises above the congregation to the music of the Rolling Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil”. The irony is gorgeous.

“C.R.A.Z.Y.” is about the dynamics of family and social change but mainly it is about fathers and sons and the acceptance of that which is different. The movie is deep and the conflict in the family are serious but Vallee treats it as a social satire and great humor. Sometimes the symbolism gets heavy but the audience is constantly moved by the movie. It’s a universal story about family indulgences and s a pleasure from first frame to the credits.

Some of you may remember that the movie was Canada’s entry into last year’s Oscar race for best foreign film but did not win. The fact that it was n nominated speaks of its quality. This insightful film speaks to all generations and manages tragedy and comedy simultaneously. The story never feels contrived is boundlessly energetic. It is realistic, it is beautiful. All in all, “C.R.A.Z.Y.” is one of the best films I have seen this year.

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