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Theatrical Release Poster
|Directed by||Jean-Marc Vallée|
|Produced by||Pierre Even
|Written by||François Boulay
|Editing by||Paul Jutras|
|Distributed by||TVA Films|
|Running time||127 minutes|
C.R.A.Z.Y. is a 2005 French-language Canadian film from Quebec. The film was directed and co-written (with François Boulay) by Jean-Marc Vallée. It tells the story of Zac, a young gay man dealing with homophobia while growing up with four brothers and a conservative father in 1960s and 1970s Quebec.
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Zac was born on Christmas 1960. At his request, his mother, Laurianne, bought him a baby carriage at age 6, but his father, Gervais, made her return it, telling her it would "turn him into a fairy." Zac brags about Gervais to his classmates, adding "For a few precious years, I was his favorite." He describes his three older brothers as “morons” and Raymond as his “sworn enemy”. When the family's fifth son, Yvan, is born, Laurianne lets Zac push Yvan's stroller around the block. On Christmas 1967, Gervais comes home to find Zac wearing his mother's clothes and jewelry and talking to baby Yvan as his mother.
Gervais finds his favorite Patsy Cline record, an imported collector's edition featuring the song “Crazy”, smashed into pieces; Zac confesses it was an accident. Gervais confides in his wife that Zac has "changed" and "dresses like a girl”. Laurianne says he is “gentle”. Overhearing them, Zac prays not to be "soft". Laurianne takes him to see "the Tupperware lady," who convinces Laurianne of Zac’s gift for healing people.
In 1975 Zac, his cousin Brigitte, and her boyfriend Paul smoke a joint together, and a "shotgun" sparks Zac’s sexual attraction to Paul. Later, Michelle, Zac's friend, tries to kiss him, but Zac urges her to stop before she ruins their friendship. Disappointed to learn Brigitte has a new Italian boyfriend, still haunted by the memory of Paul, and hoping to cure his asthma, Zac deliberately runs a red light on his motorcycle. He is struck by a car and hospitalized. Zac later learns Brigitte is back with Paul.
Toto, one of Zac's classmates, makes a sexual advance toward Zac and begins to follow him. Zac begins a sexual relationship with Michelle, but one day while the two are in the park, he notices Toto watching and later beats up Toto at school. Zac's relationship with Michelle causes his father to ease off. However, Gervais sees Zac and Toto stepping out of his car as Zac adjusts his crotch. Gervais angrily confronts him, saying what he did was wrong. Gervais tells Laurianne that homosexuality is learned and unnatural and determines to strip Zac of it through therapy. Zac tells the therapist that he and Toto masturbated together in the car but did not touch each other. The therapist says that Zac intentionally, albeit subconsciously, did it so his father would catch him and accept Zac's homosexuality.
At Christmas dinner in 1980, Zac and Michelle's relationship has become closer and more physical. Christian announces his engagement. Raymond moves back in with his parents, constantly borrowing money, not returning it, and lying to his parents about staying clean. Outside Christian's wedding reception, Zac and Paul are viewed by a passer-by who mistakenly believes they are kissing and informs another guest. Gervais overhears, and confronts Zac, and Zac confesses that he and Paul were giving each other shotguns. Gervais does not believe him. Zac yells, “Yeah, something happened, but not with him! You know with who. Nothing happened earlier, but I would've fucking loved it if something had!" A sobbing, eavesdropping Michelle runs out of hiding.
Zac flies to Jerusalem. Disgusted with himself after a gay sexual escapade, he walks into the desert and collapses in exhaustion. At the same time in Quebec, his mother awakens, splashing water on her face while Zac lies in the desert. A Bedouin, who has found Zac, is dripping water on Zac's face and takes Zac into his care.
Zac returns home to find Raymond has been hospitalized after a heroin overdose. Zac makes amends with Michelle. Raymond dies. After the funeral, "Crazy" plays as the brothers say goodbye to their parents, each seeming surprised to receive a hug from Gervais, Zac’s especially emotional. Gervais admits partial blame for Raymond and Zac's troubles but also admits an inability to accept Zac's homosexuality. At the end of the movie, Zac narrates, "I don't know if it was Raymond's passing, or if time heals all wounds, but my father had become my father once more. Although, it took him 10 years to allow me into his home with a lover, and we've never mentioned our differences since nor Patsy Cline.”
- Marc-André Grondin as Zachary Beaulieu
- Michel Côté as Gervais Beaulieu, the father
- Danielle Proulx as Laurianne Beaulieu, the mother
- Pierre-Luc Brillant as Raymond Beaulieu
- Alex Gravel as Antoine Beaulieu
- Maxime Tremblay as Christian Beaulieu
- Mariloup Wolfe as Brigitte, Zac's first cousin
- Francis Ducharme as Paul, Brigitte's boyfriend and interest of Zac's
Zachary Beaulieu (Marc-André Grondin) grows up in Québec of the 1960s and 1970s. The second youngest son of a father with "more than normal-level male hormones" and raised among four brothers, Zac struggles to define his own identity and deal with the conflict between his emerging sexuality and his intense desire to please his strict, temperamental father.
Period music is an important element of the film, highlighting recurrent themes and events in Zac's coming of age. A considerable portion of the film's budget was spent acquiring rights for songs by Pink Floyd ("Shine On You Crazy Diamond," "The Great Gig in the Sky"), Rolling Stones ("Sympathy for the Devil"), David Bowie ("Space Oddity"), Jefferson Airplane ("White Rabbit"), The Cure ("10:15 Saturday Night"), Giorgio Moroder ("From Here to Eternity"), Elvis Presley ("Santa Claus Is Back in Town"), and many others.
The Charles Aznavour song "Emmenez-moi" is repeated over and over in the film, often sung by the father. He also sings another Aznavour song - "Hier Encore", as part of Zac's 20th birthday celebrations.
The title derives from the first letter in the names of the five brothers: Christian, Raymond, Antoine, Zachary and Yvan, and also refers to their father's abiding love of Patsy Cline's song "Crazy", which itself is used as a recurring motif in the film.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2011)|
- Maine International Film Festival, 2007: Winner, Audience Favorite Award.
- Prix Jutra, 2006: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Makeup, Best Hairstyle, Biggest Box Office Success, Most Illustrious Film outside of Quebec
- Genie Awards, 2006: Best Motion Picture, Achievement in Art Direction/Production Design, Achievement in Costume Design, Achievement in Direction, Achievement in Editing, Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Achievement in Sound Editing, Original Screenplay,
- Toronto International Film Festival, 2005: Toronto – City Award for Best Canadian Feature Film
- Gijon international film festival (Spain), 2005: Young jury's award (best film), best director (Jean-Marc Vallée), best script (François Boulay), best artistic direction (Patrice Bricault-Vermette)
- Atlantic Film Festival, 2005: Best Canadian Feature
- AFI Fest (Los Angeles), 2005: Audience Award for Best Film
- Marrakech film festival (Morocco), 2005: Jury's prize
- Venice Film Festival (Italy), 2005: accepted
- "Vertigo Magazine, Article - FEATURED FILM: C.R.A.Z.Y., by Metin Alsanjak". April 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
- "C.R.A.Z.Y. (Crazy)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-09-23.
- Matthew Hays, "Going C.R.A.Z.Y.: The story behind Quebec's current box-office triumph"; CBC (October 14, 2005)
- Gabriel Laverdière, Poétiques identitaires: Refigurations des identités québécoises et homosexuelles dans le film C.R.A.Z.Y., mémoire de maîtrise, Québec, Université Laval (2010) (PDF file).
- C.R.A.Z.Y. at the Internet Movie Database