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Jean-Marc Vallée


Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée
The 10-time Genie-winning Quebec sensation C.R.A.Z.Y.—you could practically hear the uproar from here when it didn’t get an Oscar nomination for best foreign film—gets a DVD release on April 4. The sharp surrealist dramedy stars Marc-André Grondin as Zach, a sexually confused teen growing up the middle of five boys in the ’70s, living out fantasies set to classic rock tracks (“Sympathy for the Devil,” “Space Oddity”). The title is an acronym for the brothers---Christian, Raymond, Antoine, Zachary and Yvan---but only Zach and Raymond (a hotly scuzzy Pierre-Luc Brillant) figure into this coming-of-age story, which is mostly about the relationship between Zach and his father Gervais (Michel Côté), who tries to deter Zach from his gayness early in life. Danielle Proulx, as the matriarch of this exhausting pile of testosterone, gives an engaging performance that helps keep the film on the ground even when its characters are suddenly lifting off. There are a surprising number of special effects, but director Vallée knows when to use them, slipping in green-screened material with a deft touch. Though not the revelation some over-zealous critics would have you believe—the movie is essentially plotless—C.R.A.Z.Y. is a well-constructed, highly rewatchable study of a regular, middle-class family.
—Tara Thorne

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