C.R.A.Z.Y. is simply one of the best movies of all time. It encapsulates a time and a place Quebec in the sixties, seventies and eighties and evokes the era with an amazing sound track and jaw-dropping acting. You're there, in the moment with Gervais, played by Michel Côté who is the macho factory-working Dad.
He's the proud father of five sons but gradually realizes that one of them is a 'sissy' and takes this on personally in the jock world he inhabits. The father is a fully rounded character, not cast in the black and white mold so prevalent in other movies of this genre as his puzzled love for his fourth son Zac, played by Marc-André Grondin, is palpable.
The movie takes off in completely unexpected directions. Zac is totally uncomfortable with his sexuality and prays all the time for a 'cure'. He just wants to be like his brothers and earn the love and acceptance of his father. It is telling that for Gervais, he can accept his druggie son but not the one he suspects of being a 'fairy'.
There is a huge amount of humour in the movie, one scene in the cathedral with the boys' choir singing "Sympathy for the Devil" brought a joyful laughter to the audience I was in. It is that kind of movie. Gervais sings Charles Aznevour's hits with predicable regularity and has a thing for Patsy Cline and her music.
It is the era when everything was changing and insular Quebec, like the rest of the world, was being exposed to the outside world of David Bowie and Jefferson Airplane. Zac embraces all of these changes and struggles with his orientation.
Nothing is ever graphically portrayed, the plot is character driven all the way with incredible little sidelines and sidebars thrown in to add to the concoction. (One scene of a drunken brawl played to a beautiful opera piece comes to mind.)
Danielle Proulx, who portrays the mother, does not have much dialogue (typical of the era) but when she does speak it packs a wallop. She has a wonderful scene with Gervais where they discuss anal sex and a couple of others where her psychic ties to her son Zac are evident but never discussed.
The film just gets under your skin, you are there, in that microcosm of time when the world was changing so drastically and we just didn't know it. 9 out of 10. Take a bow Jean-Marc Vallée; you have an absolutely amazing talent! Bravo to the entire cast and crew. Movies are a pleasure when they're this special, and yes, I would see it again.
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