Genies are mad about ‘C.R.A.Z.Y.’

Canuck kudos go mad for Vallee's pic

French-language drama “C.R.A.Z.Y.” dominated this year’s nominations for Canadian film prizes the Genie Awards, with the Quebec pic garnering a leading 12 mentions.

Helmer Jean-Marc Vallee’s film, Canada’s submission in the foreign-language Oscar race, was nominated for picture and director, with Michel Cote and Marc-Andre Grondin drawing actor noms.

Cote plays the macho father of a family with five sons living in Montreal in the 1960s, and Grondin plays his troubled son, who has some sexual-identity issues.

“C.R.A.Z.Y.” was the top-grossing Canuck film of the year at C$5.9 million ($5.1 million), almost all in the province of Quebec. It has won a number of awards, including Canadian feature at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

The second-most nominated pic was Toronto-based helmer Deepa Mehta’s “Water.” Hindi-language, Sri Lanka-shot period drama nabbed nine noms, including picture and director. Set in 1938 India, it is the story of an 8-year-old child widow sent to a home for widows.

“Water” opened the Toronto fest in September and is the top non-Quebec Canuck pic at the box office over the past year with close to $1.7 million.

Director Michael Dowse’s “It’s All Gone, Pete Tong,” a biopic based on the life of a top European DJ who went deaf, received eight nominations, including film.

Thesp-turned-helmer Luc Picard’s directorial debut “L’Audition” and Louise Archambault’s “Familia” garnered seven apiece.

The other contender for picture is inspirational drama “Saint Ralph.”

David Cronenberg’s “A History of Violence” is not eligible for the Genies because it is a wholly American-financed pic, although it was named best Canadian film by the Toronto Film Critics Assn.

One surprise was the relatively poor showing of Atom Egoyan’s “Where the Truth Lies,” one of the highest-profile Canuck pics of the past year. It garnered five noms, but mostly in secondary categories. Several prominent Quebec pics also were notable by their absence. Award-winning religious-themed drama “The Novena,” from helmer Bernard Emond, and hockey biopic “Maurice Richard” were not submitted by their distributors. Latter film, released in late November, will likely be submitted for next year’s Genies, while “La Novena’s” distrib simply decided to give the Genies a pass.

Helmer Ricardo Trogi’s fatherhood dramedy “Dodging the Clock,” a major critical and commercial hit in Quebec, was submitted but didn’t receive a single nomination.

The 26th annual Genie Awards will be handed out March 13 in Toronto.

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