I saw this flick at the Seattle International Film Festival and the lines were huge, more so than for other movies in the festival.
In this French-Canadian dramedy, Quebecois Marc-Andre Grondin is a teenager going through self-discovery. That was for me the most important aspect in the movie, but there were quite a few other family issues addressed (father-son relationship, father-wife relationship, growing up in the 60s, etc.). You are guaranteed to laugh out loud, and cry.
I have to admit I had some problem giving C.R.A.Z.Y. the much coveted (as if...) LightShed 10 score, but I think the light was overwhelmingly positive after all. The gay coming of age we see in the movie shows the pain and complexity you would see in real life. I could relate to several parts of the movie and I believe you will too.
Our gay Marc-Andre does not want to be gay. "I'd rather die than be gay." Our main character tells his shrink, in an appointment arranged by his father, who wants his son to be straight. To "cure" him. All very painful to watch.
In Brokeback we are told by Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger's character) that boys learn to hate gays at an early age and that you should hate yourself if you are gay (that is the case 'till this day in many many parts of the world). In C.R.A.Z.Y., we actually see the self-hate process at play. How it all starts. You see the first time a boy is called a faggot, how harsh that is, and what that does to him.
It took director Jean-Marc Valle (pic on the right) 10 years to come up with C.R.A.Z.Y., and I can't wait for his next flicks. Look what he said about the movie:
“I wanted to show my sons [Émile and Alex] that everyone has something to offer. I wanted to show them that acceptance of people who are different is the way to go.”
Awesome. We need more straighties like that!
The soundtrack is excellent, great Pink Floyd and David Bowie songs (like Major Tom, etc.). The movie also had lots of Charles Aznavour and Patsy Cline songs -- I don't really like those, but they made lots of sense in the movie.
I will discuss one more incident in the movie, but the discussion will reveal a bit too much. Read on or go get this movie as soon as you can. As of now, the movie is not available on Netflix, but you can get it on Amazon.
[SORT OF SPOILER AHEAD]
[SORT OF SPOILER AHEAD]
The reason I almost did not give this movie a LightShed 10 was because there is a hate crime scene and guess who is the perpetrator? Our main character, our very own little gay. The guy who is attacked by Marc-Andre was interested in him, sexually. The guy stared at Marc-Andre a few times, and Marc-Andre rejected that with violence, against the guy, but also against himself, as if punching himself for being gay.
Like I said though, C.R.A.Z.Y. goes through many of the complex self-hate stages many gays go through. But all turns out well and our gay even develops a short relationship with the guy he had attacked.
We are lead to believe that Marc-Andre's problematic approach with his own sexuality was heavily influenced by his father, played well by Michel Cote, and his older brother, played by Pierre-Luc Brillant (pic right). They both helped instill homophobia and self-hate in our gay.