March 3rd, 2006



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C.R.A.Z.Y. Extraordinary lives of ordinary people in search of love and happiness - that's the premise of "C.R.A.Z.Y", a family drama unlike any other.

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 7.9/10 (16,582 voted)

Critic's Score: 81/100

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Stars: Michel Côté, Marc-André Grondin, Danielle Proulx

Born Christmas Day 1960, Zac Beaulieu is the fourth of five sons of Gervais and Laurianne Beaulieu. Zac feels somewhat disconnected to his brothers, all of whom are different from each other. They include the bookworm Christian who is the eldest, the dumb jock Antoine who is third, and the youngest Yvan. But Zac has the most contempt for his second eldest brother, the shiftless druggie Raymond. To his devout Catholic mother, Zac is her miracle son, both for being born the same day as Jesus Christ (a fact which Zac has always hated), and because a Tupperware-selling mystic once told her that he has the power to heal. Laurianne has always coddled Zac, the two who have a special if unspoken bond. But Zac wants more to please his father, who wants more than anything in his sons that they grow up to be man's men and not sissies. As Zac goes through his mid-teens to early twenties, Zac isn't sure if he can live up to the ideals of either his mother or especially his father...

Writers: Jean-Marc Vallée, François Boulay

Michel Côté - Gervais Beaulieu
Marc-André Grondin - Zachary Beaulieu 15 à 21 ans
Danielle Proulx - Laurianne Beaulieu
Émile Vallée - Zachary Beaulieu 6 à 8 ans
Pierre-Luc Brillant - Raymond Beaulieu 22 à 28 ans
Maxime Tremblay - Christian Beaulieu 24 à 30 ans
Alex Gravel - Antoine Beaulieu 21 à 27 ans
Natasha Thompson - Michelle 15 à 22 ans
Johanne Lebrun - Doris
Mariloup Wolfe - Brigitte 15 à 20 ans
Francis Ducharme - Paul
Hélène Grégoire - Madame Chose
Michel Laperrière - Psychothérapeute
Jean-Louis Roux - Prêtre
Mohamed Majd - Bédouin

Taglines: Growing up in this family, you'd have to be... C.R.A.Z.Y.


Official Website: Océan Films [France] | Official site [Canada] (English) |

Release Date: 3 March 2006

Filming Locations: Essaouira, Morocco

Box Office Details

Budget: $CAD6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross: $CAD5,891,739 (Canada) (18 December 2005)

Technical Specs

Runtime: Canada: (Québec)  | Argentina: (Mar del Plata Film Festival)

Did You Know?

Acquiring the music rights took such an important part of the budget, director and producer Jean-Marc Vallée had to cut his own salary.

Anachronisms: When Raymond drops off Zac in his car (when he asks for a loan), you can see a modern blue car pass on the street behind them.

Zachary Beaulieu 15 à 21 ans: I want to be like everyone else.
Madame Chose: Thank God, you never will.

User Review

I'm In Love With C.R.A.Z.Y.!


I wasn't really sure what to expect of this film, because the majority of what I'd read concerned the distribution issues in the US relating to its soundtrack full of copyrighted songs. I now see why the filmmakers can't remove those songs, and I also see why so many people are desperate to see it released, because everyone deserves to see this film.

It's all about a devout Christian husband and wife in Quebec who have five sons: Christian, Raymond, Antoine, Zachary (j'adore!) and Yvan. They're like a male French Canadian version of the Spice Girls: as Zachary relates to us early in the film, we have Brainy (Christian); Druggy (Raymond); Sporty (Antoine); Fairy (Zachary); and Fatty (Yvan). The story begins with the birth of Zachary in the early 1960s, the fourth child. He's born on Christmas Day, and is seen to have been given a gift from God; the power to heal. As we'll see, he's certainly destined to be different. His behaviour (dressing up in his mother's clothes, wetting the bed, taking care of his baby brother) gets him labelled a fag by his older brothers, the kids at school, and even his dad.

We watch the boys grow up over the course of three decades. Before Z becomes something of an alien in the family, he is the child most favoured by his parents. His mother, already aware of his gift, dotes on him, and his father is a hero to the young boy, with a great record collection (the entire Patsy Cline back catalogue!), cool shades, and a habit of taking Z for fries without the knowledge of his other sons. However, as we follow the boys into their teens, it's clear that Z has not been able to shake those early accusations of homosexuality. We see him at 16 in his bedroom, shirtless and with Ziggy Stardust make-up on his face, singing along passionately to 'Space Oddity'. All of a sudden, Antoine bursts into the room and punches Z in the arm, knocking him down and telling him, "stop singing along to that f%#king fag! you're making us look like a bunch of fairies!", and as the camera pans towards the bedroom window, we see a neighbourhood of children clapping and jeering at Z's spirited performance. They had been watching the whole thing.

Z gets a reputation at school for being queer, and this leads him to rebel, threatening those who call him names, and beating the tar out of a boy who shows some interest in him (and who later involuntarily leads to a major falling out between Z and his father, ending up with Z in therapy so that he can be "cured").

Z's occasional narration at one point stresses that two subjects have become taboo in the family by the time he turns 21; himself and Raymond. R makes a fascinating counterpoint with Z in terms of the relationship to their father. In an early scene, several girls come knocking for Raymond, and his dad proudly exclaims, "our son is a Casanova!" This pride in his son's macho accomplishments causes him to overlook R's drug habit until the consequences become almost disastrous for the family. Even then, he deludes himself, believing that R is clean, trying to get his life back in order, and constantly lends him money, despite things continuing to go from bad to worse.

On the other hand, Z's sensitivity is not accepted with nearly the same degree of pride as R's sexual precociousness; in fact, it isn't accepted at all. Any accomplishment Z makes is belittled by his father, and when Z's divine gift is confirmed by a local mystic, his father is extremely skeptical. Things in their relationship improve when Z finds a girlfriend. However, Z's behaviour deteriorates to the point where he risks becoming like his older brother. His sexual confusion becomes so extreme that it almost results in his death several times, while even a small degree of acceptance from his father may have been enough to resolve any guilt over his true sexuality, and allow mom and dad to concentrate their concern on the *real* problem child -- Raymond.

While the theme of self-discovery and personal growth gives the film an extremely strong emotional core, with a cast of thoroughly sympathetic, complete characters (and it seems like an insult to refer to them as just "characters" -- they are living, breathing people, as far as I'm concerned), there is much entertainment to be had in the changing fashions, developing attitudes and shifting cultural focus of the film. Watching the gorgeous Marc-André Grondin (Zachary) going from tight jeans and roller skates to sullen spikes and eyeliner to bronzed globetrotter was a personal highlight! The soundtrack is also an essential component of the film, reflecting Z's flowering love of popular music, from his days spent in the passenger seat of his dad's car, listening to Patsy Cline, to imagining a Midnight Mass erupting in a chorus of 'Sympathy for the Devil' by The Stones, getting high to Pink Floyd and downing liquor at the bar of an exotic gay club to early House; it's the soundtrack to a life spent in search of himself, and because of the power of pop music, we feel like we were there for every tear shed, every punch thrown, every cigarette smoked and every longing stare left to linger.

By the end of the film, I was nearly in tears. I'd been through an emotional roller-coaster of a film with characters I'd grown to love, and while the heart-stopping ending might have been responsible for my emotional response, the tears in my eyes were there because, really, I didn't want such a beautiful movie to end.


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