340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Crazy like a box.

Usually, I like to head my movie reviews with an appropriate image, but for Jean-Marc Vallée's C.R.A.Z.Y. you get nothing. Google Images only spat out posters for the seminal Melissa Joan Hart vehicle Drive Me Crazy and Adam Sandler's avant-garde but poorly-received treatment of Hanukkah, Eight Crazy Nights.

Hailed as the latest saviour of Québec film, C.R.A.Z.Y. is a period-piece coming-of-age story about a young man growing up in a traditional environment, testing... testing his limits, rebel... reb... rebelling against... *yawn* ... rebelling against the establissshhh... estab.. esss...




*snort* Whuzzah?! What--where..? Oh, right--C.R.A.Z.Y.. He's gay, he likes rock'n roll and he smokes dope. Dad's a homphobe and mom's a Jesus freak who's complicit in her husband's continuous torment of their sexually ambiguous son. Older brother is a burn-out whose eventual death serves as a catalyst for relic father and queer son to forgive and forget (but, significantly, not resolve) their differences and drive off together into the sunset.

Look, there are things to like here: Montréal circa 1960-1980 is lovingly and painstakingly re-created with bang-on costumes, props, set pieces and music (though, super-significantly, with the exception of Robert Charlebois there's not a single Québécois artist featured on the soundtrack). The characters are lovingly drawn and the acting is, for the most part, excellent--Michel Côté deserves every accolade he gets for his turn as a simple man struggling to reconcile his own antiquated worldview with the rapidly-changing society around him.

My problem is that homophobia is not a simple issue and the director treated it like it was. The characters are permitted to hate and the film doesn't reflect on that at all. I have no problem with bigoted characters; I have a problem with artists (in this case a director/screenwriter) who can't see past the ends of their noses and pull a little bit more from their texts.


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