WD | 05/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WOW! What a great movie. It is tastefully created from all of the aspects. There is great scenery and camera work, wonderful soundtrack and great acting by a group of obviously very talented people. And there's this ongoing transition between fantasy and reality that are blended together in such a way that it is sometimes hard to distinguish which one is which. In addition, this movie is a fine example of how smart and sometimes cruel children are. Now a few bad things. I did not like how the movie ended, but I guess the movie wouldn't be as good as it was without a major sacrifice, which was also a great point of this movie. The cat scene is somewhat upsetting, considering that I am a cat person. But, again it was the necessary part and I wouldn't take it away. You want a raw reality of the things that are out there? Then accept what was in the movie. Otherwise, what's the point of owning this movie? This movie is one of those dark comedy motion pictures that have a message, a lesson and entertainment all in one package.
Now about DVD. First thing that I want to say is subtitle translation is new and not the same as on VHS. So this new translation is terrible. I don't speak French but, a lot of language is very obviously incorrect. Sometimes there may be situations that called for paraphrase, rather than exact translations, and that wasn't done either. Also, there are no extra features at all. The only thing that is present is movie trailer. A good thing is that there is a DTS sound available.
ONE MORE Inconsistency is that French DVD has 115 minutes and American has only 106. I wonder why."
Léolo: 'Because I dream I am not crazy.'
G. Merritt | Boulder, CO | 01/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Léolo is a rare work of pure poetic genius in film. It is a French-Canadian film that reminds me not only of the power of great cinema, but of the unlimited potential of the human imagination, and what it means to experience real love. Equally enchanting and depressing, Jean-Claude Lauzon's Léolo tells the story of Léo Lauzon (Maxime Collin), a 12-year-old Montreal boy who is more comfortable living in his wild imagination than in the reality of his dysfunctional life. (He provides the voice-over narration for the film, from the perspective of an old man.) During the film one wonders, is this endearing boy slipping into schizophrenia (as mental illness afflicts his family), or does he simply prefer a life of dreams to a life obsessed with bowel movements. He identifies with Don Quixote from an early age. After discovering that his mother (Ginette Reno) was impregnated by an Italian tomato rather than the father he despises, Léo renames himself Léolo to honor his true Sicilian identity. To cope with his dreary life in the tenements, Léolo enjoys reading erotic Parisian magazines, plotting the murder of his lecherous grandfather, collecting flying insects, and fantasizing about his sexy neighbour Bianca (Giuditta del Vecchio), who becomes his muse and one true love. In confronting themes of adolescent sexuality, mental illness, and physical and emotional abuse (all of which are a part of Léolo's life), the film contains several truly disturbing scenes (none of which seem gratuitous in the context of the film). One such scene involves the depiction of a tortured cat (sure to offend many viewers). (The scene is used to address parental concerns about their children's behaviour: which is worse, teenage smoking or acts of violence?) The soundtrack includes Tom Waits and the Rolling Stones. Not surprisingly, Time Magazine named this poignant, one-of-a-kind film one of the 100 best movies of all time. It is one of my 10 favorite films. It is a film that will haunt you.