Writer/director Jean-Marc Vallée weaves a wonderfully rich tapestry spanning 20 years in the always hectic and dysfunctional, alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, Beulieu household.
Born fourth in a line of five sons, Zach always fell cursed by his Christmas Day birth and the burden of his mother's heartfelt belief that he could heal the sick, including his own drug-addicted brother. More troubling still is Zach's ongoing, self-declared war with his father, whom he feels doomed to disappoint. Marc-Andre Grondin is utterly fantastic as the alienated Zach, convincingly and seamlessly taking us from boy to man, from Zach's Bowie-influenced teens to his punk-infused 20s.
Enough can't be said about the spot-on period detail from 1960 to the mid-'80s, all set to a must-own soundtrack so vital to director Vallee he took a pay cut to finance it. Canada's official Oscar® submission.