Leave the cannoli, take the movies

Review Blog


Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on April 18, 2012 at 10:25 PM

C.R.A.Z.Y.   ***1/2

Jean-Marc Vallée


IDEA:  A man recounts his tumultuous young life growing up as a sexually confused adolescent, dealing with religion, family values, and troubled siblings.

BLURB:  For the first hour or so of this invigorating, exuberant growing up fable, everything seems to work like magic. The images are electrifying, composed of methodical suburban snapshots that flow into each other like gravy, suspended in an immortal glass capsule, unfolding against the music of Pink Floyd, David Bowie, and The Rolling Stones. Smoke curls through the air; bodies and faces shuffle sensually about each other, finding in themselves years of unspoken emotion; and time, miraculously manipulated, slows down and speeds up in intoxicating rhythms. The surrealistic flourishes feel organically conceived and executed, the grounded human episodes moving and true. But then somewhere in the second half the narrative seems to lose its focus, attempting to extend its reach beyond what it’s actually capable of. Our protagonist becomes more distant, the stunning imagery takes a backseat to perfunctory resolutions and a rushed coda. If not for said unfortunate downturn, this would be a knockout. Still, the technique here pops like little else – and the story is pretty good, too.

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