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UKScreen Rating:

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Growing up in 1970s Quebec could’ve been a whole lot easier for Zachary (Grondin), were it not for his irritating brothers – the swot, the bully, the druggie and the spoilt baby – and the fact that his sexuality didn’t exactly meet his father’s approval.
This film takes a first-person journey through Zachary’s life – from birth, through his primary school years to his late teens – while detailing periods of his brothers’ lives only as is necessary to advance the overall plot.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

There’s no doubt that this film is thoroughly enjoyable, but equally, it’s instantly forgettable.
Tackling issues of puberty, emerging sexuality, parental expectations and the like, it doesn’t go anywhere that we haven’t gone before – often better, although usually worse.
It’s visually interesting and emotionally charming, but it’s just too inconsequential to stay with you for long after you’ve left the cinema, and being more than two hours long, you feel you could do with leaving the cinema a little earlier than you do.
Another issue is that during his all-important, cantankerous teenaged years, Zachary isn’t quite genial enough for us to be on his side the whole time, which sometimes makes it hard for us to root for our hero.
The music is so fundamental to this film – in particular, tracks from Pink Floyd, David Bowie and the Patsy Cline song that provides a second meaning for the title – that at times it seems like we’re watching a series of pop videos.
Perhaps the oddest thing about this film is that it feels like a 1970s American coming-of-age period piece, and it looks like a 1970s American coming-of-age period piece, just with everyone speaking in French – making you realise how rare it is that such French Canadian films reach our screens.

Opens nationwide 21st April 2006

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