Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Teens > Sexuality > France > C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005/Genius)

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005/Genius)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Film: B-



Jean-Marc Vallée’s C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005) is an ambitious coming of age story (co-written by Vallée and Francois Boulay, who is being semi-autobiographical here) about young Zac Beaulieu and his five brothers.  They have good parents and a good home, but all have their different issues, made more apparent in the middle of the counterculture in France starting in the late 1960s.  Instead of the tired, dysfunctional and phony versions of the period that plaster over neo-Conservative pseudo-family ideas or wallow in dysfunction, the film is more honest than most in its portrayal of the lives of the family.


Zac (Marc-André Grondin in a strong performance) is the odd man out since it turns out he is slowly learning that he is bi-sexual, but with the Glam movement, it is not totally as apparent to many, except to him.  Besides this awkward situation, he has a brother who is hypersexual with the ladies and deals with his strict Catholic parents all in ways that tent to ring true for the most part.


Where the film goes wrong is by not exploring further what is happening before it, substituting soul searching with silly edits, Kubrickian slow motion moments that make no sense (complete with classical music similar to Kubrick’s films) and then there are the use of classic records by David Bowie, Patsy Cline (very obvious, so you can guess which hit we bet), Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and one-hit wonder Stories iconic 70s classic Brother Louie.


The time period for the songs is right and the idea that the freedom of the music and that time is a plus to the film and character motives, but the use does not always gel, though is far from an MTV clip-vid mentality.  With that kind of royalty money and such an opportunity Vallée has that most filmmakers only dream of, it is a shame to not see full fruition of the sound and image.  Even when it does not work, C.R.A.Z.Y. is an interesting failure.  When it does, it is very good.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image was shot on film by the solid cinematographer Pierre Mignot (who lensed many of Robert Altman’s later works), without any color-gutting, stupid handheld pretensions or other giveaways of an amateur or especially hack.  Detail and color are a problem with the transfer, but you can tell form the uniformity of the print used that this looked really good in 35mm.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has surprisingly healthy Pro Logic surrounds and makes us wonder if there is a stronger 5.1 mix (DTS?) available.  The end credits say Dolby Surround in an unusual use of the Dolby Digital logo and maybe a later HD release will show us.  The only extra is the decent trailer, but this would have been a prime candidate for them, even when the film fails.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com