Praised domestically like no other Quebecois film in recent memory, this gay coming-of-age tell-all never found a distributor stateside.
A film set in Montreal during the 1970s and 80s has a lot to recommend itself to me, mirroring my own upbringing. So why did I merely like it (sometimes a lot) but never love it? Visually it does some impressive backflips and somersaults as our put-upon protagonist denies his budding homosexuality to his loving but hopelessly working-class French Canadian family. Much is also made of its classic rock soundtrack which dazzles initially (how can one not react to David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’?) But it becomes a bit of a crutch. Filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée is obviously very gifted, however, and when he gets a scene right it’s riveting. The occasional lack of imagination shows through in the script, though, as evidenced by the multiple scenes of main character Zac driving off and flipping the world the bird — at least three by my count.