Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 127 min
Zachary Beaulieu (Marc-André Grondin) is born on Christmas Day, 1960, to a family with three older brothers, a macho dad (Michel Côté) with a passion for Patsy Cline and Charles Aznavour, and a doting mother (Danielle Proulx) who irons cheese sandwiches and believes Zach has a special gift for healing people. But when young Zach displays a fondness for baby strollers and his mother’s pearls, it becomes clear that he is “special” in a way his father – and his working-class, Montreal suburb – will simply not accept.
The tension created between Zach’s willingness to repress his homosexuality in order to fit in and his longing to break free and achieve self-realization is the engine that drives the narrative of C.R.A.Z.Y., an intimate yet boisterous coming-of-age memoir based on screenwriter François Boulay’s own experiences growing up in seventies Quebec. The personal tale’s cultural specificity lends the film a strong emotional core, assisted in no small part by period design and performances that offer a dead-on evocation of the time.
Director Jean-Marc Vallée (who polished the script with Boulay over a ten-year period and sacrificed much of his salary to secure the rights to Rolling Stones and David Bowie songs, which figure prominently in memorable, key sequences) invests the film with arresting visual flourishes and an endearing sense of place. Brimming with humour and bittersweet drama, C.R.A.Z.Y. is ultimately the story of a beautifully ordinary family, of parental love, of outsiders struggling to find their place in the world and of the challenges of growing up different.
An ambitious, entertaining and universally appealing crowd-pleaser, C.R.A.Z.Y. proved that the idea of a populist Canadian film was not an oxymoron: it was both a critical sensation and a box-office smash. In addition to grossing $6.5 million in Canada (earning it the Golden Reel Genie Award for highest box-office gross), with about $1.5 million of that coming from outside Quebec, C.R.A.Z.Y. dominated both the Genie and Jutra Awards, winning eleven of thirteen nominations at the former and thirteen of fourteen at the latter, including the awards for Best Film and Best Director at both. It received four awards from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle – Best Actor (Grondin), Best Supporting Actor (Michel Côté), Best Supporting Actress (Danielle Proulx) and Best Film – and won numerous awards at international festivals, including Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival® and the Audience Award at the AFI Film Festival.
C.R.A.Z.Y. was selected as Canada’s official submission for the 2005 Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film, and was named one of Canada's Top Ten of 2005 by an independent panel of Canadian filmmakers, programmers, journalists and industry professionals.