Leolo (1992)



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Movie Info

Jean-Claude Lauzon's highly praised film tells the strange story of Léolo, a young boy from Montréal. Told from Léolo's point-of-view, the film depicts his family of lunatics and Léolo's attempts to deal with them. Not one individual in the boy's life is well adjusted. His brother, after being beaten up, spends the film bulking up on growth protein. The grandfather hires half-naked girls to bite off his toenails and, in a brutal rage, almost kills Léolo. As he witnesses his family decay around him, Léolo retreats into himself and the fantasy world he has constructed. In response to the weirdness of his daily life, Léolo creates a little mental mayhem of his own which Lauzon renders in an amazing series of free-form, surreal images. Eventually, this precarious balance of reality and fantasy cracks and Léolo is hospitalized after attempting to murder his grandfather. The score by Tom Waits underscores the narrative arc of Léolo's breakdown. On its release, the film won numerous awards including the International Fantasy Film Award for Best Director (1992) and a Genie Award for Best Original Screenplay (1992).


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Critic Reviews for Leolo

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

A strangely-captivating motion picture.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

I felt alive when I was watching it.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

A disturbing, imaginative, beautifully realized film.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

It tries too hard, and Leolo's Gauloisey voice-over tells us too much.

Dec 7, 2017 | Full Review…

Caught the big picture in a strikingly fresh way.

Feb 25, 2008 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

French-Canadian Lauzon's disturbing and audacious comin-of-age saga, which opened the 1993 Toronto Film Festival, centers on a boy who actually believes that his mother was impregnated by a sperm-covered tomato in Sicily!

Jan 24, 2007 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Leolo


For a movie where defecating and masturbation have a surprising amount of screen time, this is a very whimsical and funny story about a dysfunctional family just trying to make it out alive. The script does a very good job of showing the world through the eyes of a young boy, accurately capturing the desperate nature with which we try to make sense of the world.

Quinto Wallight
Quinto Wallight

Super Reviewer


Canadian boy comes of age in nutty family. A strange film, a bit like watching something by a sedated Jean-Pierre Jeunet, with a heartbreaking ending. From RHADYNASCIMENTO's favourites list

Lesley N
Lesley N

Super Reviewer


Because I dream, I am not.

Alex Figueroba
Alex Figueroba

Super Reviewer


A fantastic Canadian film, in both quality and content. Strange though, but in that lovely sort of way that draws you in. Basically it's the story of a highly intelligent boy growing up in a tenement in Montreal with his oddball, mostly insane, family, and the imaginary living dream world he creates for himself which is often hard to distinguish from reality. This is one of those poetic sort of films that are magical in a way, and hard to define, breathtaking at times, confusing at times, also - but ultimately rewarding. In any case, it`s a truly unique film that should be seen by an anyone with an appreciation for "off the beaten path" type films.

Christopher Mercer
Christopher Mercer

Super Reviewer

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