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"CRAZY" redirects here. For other uses, see Crazy (disambiguation).
Theatrical Release Poster
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
Produced by Pierre Even
Jean-Marc Vallée
Written by François Boulay
Jean-Marc Vallée
Starring Marc-André Grondin
Michel Côté
Danielle Proulx
Cinematography Pierre Mignot
Edited by Paul Jutras
Distributed by TVA Films
Release dates
  • May 27, 2005 (2005-05-27)
Running time
127 minutes
Country Canada
Language French

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 Quebec during the 1960s and 1970s.


Zac was born on Christmas in 1960. He had a special relationship with his father Gervais, but things began to fall apart as Zac's non-masculine ways started to show. Their unique relationship officially came to an end when Gervais comes home to find Zac dressed in his mother's clothes. Ever since then, he "had unwittingly declared war on his father".

At the Christmas party in 1975, Zac shares a shotgun drink with his cousin Brigitte's boyfriend Paul, which sparks Zac's attraction. His friend Michelle tries to kiss him, but Zac stops her with the excuse of protecting their friendship. Later on, he discovers that Brigitte is no longer with Paul. In a moment of spontaneity, Zac runs a red light on his motorcycle, only to be struck by a car and hospitalized. Zac later learns that Brigitte is back with Paul.

Zac begins a relationship with Michelle, temporarily relieving Gervais - until he sees Zac stepping out of the car with a male classmate, adjusting his crotch. Angry, Gervais has Zac see a therapist to "cure" him of his homosexuality. The therapist's conclusion was that Zac made "a subconscious deliberate mistake", intentionally doing it so that Gervais would catch him and find out he was gay.

At the Christmas dinner in 1980, Zac and Michelle's relationship has become closer and more physical. His brother Christian announces his engagement. At Christian's wedding reception, Zac and Paul share a shotgun drink outside, but are seen by a guest who thought they were kissing. Gervais overhears this gossip, and chaos ensues. Gervais confronts Zac in the pouring rain, and Zac admittedly comes out, yelling, “Yeah, something happened, but not with him! ... I would've fucking loved it if something had!". A sobbing, eavesdropping Michelle runs out of hiding, and Gervais tells Zac to leave.

Zac flies to Jerusalem. Disgusted with himself after a gay sexual escapade, he walks into the desert and collapses in exhaustion. A Bedouin, who found Zac, drips water on Zac's face and takes Zac into his care.

Zac returns home to find his second eldest brother hospitalized after a heroin overdose, who dies the next day. After the funeral, Gervais hugs Zac emotionally. At the end of the movie, Zac narrates that Gervais "had become my father once more”.



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.[1]

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.


C.R.A.Z.Y. was very well received by critics with a 100% rating (17 reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes.[2]

Liz Beardsworth from Empire (film magazine) wrote “Fantastic performances, sharp wit and a raw honesty breathe new life into the rites-of-passage drama.”[3] Jay Weissberg from Variety (Magazine) commented “The whole family can feel comfortable watching C.R.A.Z.Y., Jean-Marc Vallee’s bouncy coming-of-age tale that coasts along on a terrific soundtrack and a spot-on feel for period detail. ”[3] Michael Rechtshaffen from The Hollywood Reporter wrote “Although Vallee’s remarkably assured film, which clocks in at more than two hours, proves that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, Canada’s official Oscar submission for best foreign-language feature still manages keep up the entertaining yet emotionally satisfying pace sufficiently to earn audience accolades.”[3]

In 2015, the Toronto International Film Festival placed C.R.A.Z.Y. in the Top 10 Canadian Films of All Time.[4]


  • 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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Vertigo Magazine, Article - FEATURED FILM: C.R.A.Z.Y., by Metin Alsanjak". April 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-12. 
  2. ^ "C.R.A.Z.Y. (Crazy)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  3. ^ a b c Alexander Ryll (2014). "Essential Gay Themed Films To Watch, C.R.A.Z.Y.". Gay Essential. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Top 10 Canadian Films of All Time," The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2012, URL accessed 2 May 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Blanchard, Maxime (2009). "L’aliénation tranquille:C.R.A.Z.Y.de Jean-Marc Vallée". Contemporary French and Francophone Studies 13 (1): 71–79. doi:10.1080/17409290802606846. 

External links[edit]