Metro Weekly


Reel Affirmations 2006

Review by Randy Shulman

Rating: starstarstarstarstar (5 out of 5) [Critic’s Pick!]
Saturday, 10/14/2006, 7:00 PM
Feature presentation, $9 at Lincoln Theatre

THIS IS IT. This is the one film you do not want to miss.

A sprawling, spectacular French-Canadian gem, C.R.A.Z.Y. glimmers with the polished luster of great character dramas, never confining itself to a single genre, but encompassing — indeed, heartily embracing — them all. Lavishly told, it remains intimate at its core, evoking a time, place and period with the kind of transcendental qualities only the finest works of cinema achieve.

Essentially, it’s the story of a boy named Zac Beaulieu, born on Christmas day, and how he comes to terms with his sexuality. It’s also the story of his relationship with his four brothers, adoring mother and harsh, explosive father. The movie starts in the ’60s and carries itself, through the effective use of period music and an original score by David Bowie, to the ’80s, taking us on a journey that ultimately finds Zac in the desert outside Jerusalem, walking in the steps of Jesus Christ.

Magnificently directed by Jean-Marc Valle and acted by a cast that is superlative in every way, C.R.A.Z.Y. has the feel of a Martin Scorsese film, but without the mobsters or violence. Valle deftly weaves Zac’s flights of fantasy into the dramatic tapestry (a scene at Christmas Mass set to the music of the Rolling Stones is breathtaking). Marc-Andre Grondin, as the older incarnations of Zac, and Michel Cote, as the Beaulieu patriarch, are brilliant, giving performances that are marvelously rich and deeply heartfelt.

According to sources, C.R.A.Z.Y. is running into music-rights issues and has not yet found a U.S. distributor. Making this Reel Affirmations screening your one and only chance to see it. Clear your calendar. Get to the Lincoln. You’ll be glad you did. — RS

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