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C.R.A.Z.Y.

June 13, 2010
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I’m a little late to the Netflix party.  I’m more of a book girl (as you probably figured out) and although I like movies, I find I don’t have the time or the inclination to watch them a whole lot.  My friend over at Beardy Lollipop loves movies and we got to talking about books and movies, their similarities and differences, books made into films, etc.  So now that I joined the Netflix party and have an ever-growing queue, you may be seeing a few more film posts over here because, the thing is, films have many of the same themes, storylines and character progressions as a great book.  Oftentimes movies make me feel the same way that a fantastic book will.  So, anyway, here is my first post on a movie and it was a completely wonderful film that has left me thinking and examining and reevaluating and googling the main character 🙂

C.R.A.Z.Y. is the story of Zac and his family, who live in French-Canadian Montreal. The movie is in French with English subtitles – at first this surprised me and I almost reconsidered watching it, but I’m so glad I didn’t.  As weird as this may sound, after a little while I didn’t even realize that I wasn’t watching the movie in English.

It’s the 1960’s and we see Zac as a young boy, struggling to fit in as the fourth of five boys, knowing something is a little different about himself and wishing that it would just go away.  With a loving and attentive mother but a less-than-understanding father and three overbearing older brothers, Zac grows into a teenager who is struggling with the fact that he is gay.  The film uses music, religion, dance and dreamlike sequences to dive into the inner turmoil that Zac faces.

Zac is played by Marc-André Grondin who does an absolutely fantastic job of letting the viewer see exactly how confusing, frustrating, humiliating, scary and freeing his journey is. The relationship between him and his mother is one of the most compelling parts of the movie – the two have an unusual and extraordinary connection.  The breaking of a fateful record, Zac’s “healing” powers and the downfall of his brother all lead to an eventual understanding with his father, which is the ultimate feel-good (but not cheesy) moment of the film.

I absolutely loved this movie because  Marc-André Grondin makes it impossible not to love Zac and the film makes a great statement about family, unconditional love and equality. A perfect watch for Boston Pride week here in Boston.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Danielle K. permalink
    June 28, 2010 9:05 pm

    I was so glad that you recommended this film- I am always searching for good films in French to try and keep up my language skills and this one had a very compelling story and excellent acting. Despite the cruelties that Zac’s family (particularly his father) subjects him to, the viewer still senses their love and and yearning for closeness. Zac’s dad is a truly human character with obvious flaws and strengths (gotta love his cheesy karaoke renditions at every family gathering- all the while with him thinking he is THE cat’s meow). And while parts of the story are almost painful to watch, you still find yourself rooting for Dad and the brothers to make things right with Zac. It was also interesting to see Zac’s mom, a devoted Catholic, use her faith to both accept her son and celebrate him as gifted and special.

    I think this film tackled the complexity of raising a homosexual child (and in the 60s/70s era) in a really interesting way. I was glad to see characters of great depth rather than flat stereotypes.

  2. July 2, 2010 9:07 am

    Danielle, I love this comment and I’m so glad you liked the film. I thought you’d enjoy it but I was so glad to see that you picked up on some of the same themes that I did – the dad with the funny karaoke, the depth of the characters that allows you to root for them even when they aren’t at their best, how religion helps Zac’s mom to celebrate him rather than persecute him. So glad you liked the film!

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