<I>C.R.A.Z.Y.</I> debuts in France

Jean-Marc Vall&eacute;e's award-winning film <em>C.R.A.Z.Y.</em> opened in France Wednesday on 90 screens, including 15 in Paris.

Jean-Marc Vallée's award-winning film C.R.A.Z.Y. opened in France Wednesday on 90 screens, including 15 in Paris.

C.R.A.Z.Y. director Jean-Marc Vallée takes his award-winning film to the French market. (CP file photo/Nathan Denette)

The film has the eyes and ears of industry professionals in France after winning 10 Genie Awards and 14 Jutra Awards in Canada and gaining recognition at film festivals worldwide.

It will have French subtitles, for viewers who cannot understand the Québécois lingo. The humour of some of the lines might not come through otherwise, Vallée said.

Despite its success in Quebec and English Canada, Vallée says he is eager for recognition from France.

"It is a little more important. It is a big chance for international recognition. One dreams of a success like The Barbarian Invasions or Seducing Dr. Lewis," he said, in an interview with Agence France-Presse.

Denys Arcand, director of The Barbarian Invasions, is well known in France.

C.R.A.Z.Y. is the story of five boys in a Quebec family in the 1960s and 1970s and particularly of music-loving Zach, who is growing up gay in Catholic Quebec.

Already the film is being warmly reviewed. Le Figaro gave it two hearts, the same number as Mission Impossible III, and praised the performances of Michel Coté, who plays the father, and Marc-André Grondin, who plays Zach.

"It tells us a simple, generous story, with moments of magic, spirituality and fantasy," said Le Figaro.

Agence France-Presse said the film was full of "tenderness" and "great authenticity" which successfully captures the mood and attitudes of Quebec in the 1970s.

"The other great success of the film resides in the musical universe it creates, plunging the spectator into the '60s and '70s, thanks to the songs of the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, and Crazy, as sung by Patsy Cline," the AFP critic wrote.

The journal Libération also recommended French viewers see the film, despite the fact that the country threw off the weight of the Catholic church much earlier in their history than Quebec did. C.R.A.Z.Y. has many comic scenes, and like German film, Goodbye Lenin, combines nostalgia with a touching story, the critic said.