Critics Consensus

Balancing heart and humor against outstanding work from a talented cast, C.R.A.Z.Y. proves the coming-of-age formula can still produce powerful results.



Reviews Counted: 28

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User Ratings: 22,826


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Average Rating: 4.2/5

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Movie Info

Zachary Beaulieu was born on Christmas Day 1960. He was different from his four brothers but desperate to fit in. During the next 20 years, Zac tries to live a lie, but his life is full of surprises and unexpected experiences, which ultimately leads him to accept his true nature. More importantly, Zac's father grows to love him for who he really is.

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Marc-Andre Grondin
as Zachary Beaulieu (age 15-21)
Michel Côté
as Gervais Beaulieu
Danielle Proulx
as Laurianne Beaulieu
Pierre-Luc Brillant
as Raymond Beaulieu (age 22-28)
??mile Vallée
as Zachary Beaulieu (6-8 years old)
Maxime Desbiens Tremblay
as Christian Beaulieu (age 24-30)
Alex Gravel
as Antoine Beaulieu (age 21-27)
Natasha Thompson
as Michelle (age 15-22)
Mariloup Wolfe
as Brigitte (age 15-20)
Hélène Grégoire
as Madame Chose
Helen Gregoire
as Madame Chose
Michel Laperrière
as Psychotherapist
Claude Gagnon
as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for C.R.A.Z.Y.

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (7)

  • There's a warmth and detail to the way father, mother and son are depicted and explored.

    Sep 17, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The French Canadian import is also wildly entertaining in its views of Catholicism, music and especially family.

    Nov 10, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • An exuberant, disarming entertainment, C.R.A.Z.Y. makes a familiar story seem new all over again through its sheer showmanship, sharp humor and a wise, profound understanding of the highs and lows of family ties.

    Mar 10, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • A boundlessly energetic coming-of-age story set during the Age of Aquarius/

    Nov 11, 2005
  • The subject matter may be deep and the family conflicts serious, but Vallée leavens his story with gentle satire and outright humour.

    Oct 14, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A full-to-bursting picture that shouts and whispers and darts and meanders and fascinates and frustrates and teems at the seams with raw vitality.

    Oct 14, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for C.R.A.Z.Y.

I wasn't expecting this level of ambition. Not only do we see Zachary's story of self-discovery unfold from his birth to his mid 20s, we also see the evolution of his family and the surrounding culture from the 50s through the 70s. Unexpectedly, the movie so accurately captures the horror and humiliation a child often goes through while suffering from nocturnal enuresis, or "bedwetting," when we see Zach get outed by kids at summer camp. By avoiding sleepovers, I managed to successfully keep my bedwetting known only to my immediate family, but that is where I was also shamed by my step-mother and step-brothers who lectured and teased me about being either too lazy or too chicken to go upstairs to the bathroom. My father, more nurturing in his approach but still lacking understanding, also believed it was voluntary. When I was five, a couple of years before my step-family came into the picture, he started paying me $5 for every night that I didn't wet the bed, inadvertently seeding my humiliation and confusion over whether I could fix myself if I really wanted to and why it it was that I subconsciously chose not to. Unlike 0.5-1% of adults out there and all people in the LGBT community, my developmental abnormality abruptly came to an end at age 13, confirming that assigning neurosis to my condition was absurd. Fortunately, kids are now blessed with the internet to educate themselves and even their families. The message both me and Zachary learned is the same: do not trust people with your differences, exposing yourself will only result in further isolation and loneliness. This lesson is more acutely relevant for Zach, because he was also born with a more polarizing and permanent sexual difference that his father and society also believes are chosen behaviors, and he doesn't want to be outed again. My biggest criticism with the film is that it seems confused and possibly ignorant about the main character's identity. When Zach is a young boy, he shows strong signs of "gender identity disorder," where he only wants a baby stroller for Christmas and he dresses up in his mother's clothes, puts on makeup, and acts like a mother to his infant brother. In the next timeline transition, immediately after his summer camp bedwetting trauma, this desire and behavior disappears entirely and never returns in the film, including when we see him alone. Instead, he becomes hardened and aggressive with a strong counterculture fashion sense and discovering an attraction to men. It's as if another writer took over and switched out Zach's brain, or at least the transgendered part.

Matthew Slaven
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

Outstanding and affecting Quebecois film about growing up in gay in the 1960s and about the bond of family and the changing attitudes of an entire people, localized in one (traditionally large, Catholic) family with five sons. The film takes great advantage of fair use laws to get snippets of very well-known songs into the film - I presume; I don't think a Canadian independent budget would cover Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, Patsy Cline and more! - and it's beautifully shot and acted. It's one that might be hard to find outside of Canada, but it's a movie that's not to be missed.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

One of the more realistic portrayals of what life might be like for a young gay boy, growing up in a family with a macho father and brothers. He tries so hard to be straight, prays daily, and hopes against hope that he can somehow transform himself. This film is about his journey, along with other family troubles. A very interesting sound track, highlighted by Patsy Cline's "Crazy". Overall a nice movie, albeit a little slow at times. Sometimes slow is not so bad...

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

CRAZY is one of the finest films ever produced in Canada, let alone French Canada. It is note and picture perfect. Above all else, this is a family movie, albeit not one for very young kids. Jean Marc Vallee is a prodigy and a visual and editing genius. The cast are wall to wall superb, but the performances of Michel Cote and Danielle Proulx as the loving, working class parents of a brood of five boys are deep, funny, and profoundly human. The subtle, handsome and charismatic Marc-Andre Grondin as Zac, the sexually confused protagonist has a huge future ahead of him. On paper, this may look like a 'coming of age' or 'coming out' movie about growing up gay, and that is indeed the main conflict of the film. However, the family, all of them, are a living, breathing, loving and flawed unit. The sexual identity theme is incidental to what is a much larger and more meaningful message about family, love and acceptance. What Vallee shows in his script is an empathy and understanding of a wide array of different points of view; generations, and varying levels of self-awareness. The 60s and 70s setting, (this is my own era, so I'm qualified) is staged in a completely convincing, organic and restrained way. It's never cheesy or ironic nostalgia. The songs by Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Charles Aznavour and especially Patsy Cline are contextually perfect, and support the drama and characters seamlessly. Valee's occasional flights of fancy and surrealism are just the right amount of seasoning to a mostly realistic film, but are never excessive. The 'Sympathy for the Devil' dream sequence is celebratory, joyful and extremely pertinent to a changing society, (in particular a changing Quebec which at the time is abruptly transitioning away from the dominant influence of the Catholic church). I could not recommend this film highly enough. It lives in the same pantheon as coming of age cinema classics like 'The 400 Blows', 'Fanny and Alexander' or 'My Life as a Dog', in my humble opinion. Don't miss it.

Josh Morris
Josh Morris

Super Reviewer

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