|by:||Apr 3, 2006|
Jean-Marc Vallée's hit film C.R.A.Z.Y. enjoyed another awards sweep at the eighth annual Prix Jutra on March 19, winning a record 13 of its 14 nominations.
The unprecedented victories came but days after C.R.A.Z.Y. dominated the Genie Awards, where it picked up 11 awards, including best picture.
"I can't really put into words how happy I am," an elated Vallée told Playback after the ceremony. "Something this big doesn't happen every day. The success of the film has been overwhelming - almost scary. We're just thrilled about the way C.R.A.Z.Y. has been embraced."
C.R.A.Z.Y.'s haul included wins for best picture for producers Pierre Even of Cirrus Communications and Vallée, best direction for Vallée, best actor for Marc-André Grondin, best supporting actor for Michel Côté, best supporting actress for Danielle Proulx, best screenplay for Vallée and François Boulay, best cinematography for Pierre Mignot, best art direction for Patrice Bricault-Vermette, best editing for Paul Jutras and best costume design for Ginette Magny.
The film picked up two additional awards, the Billet d'or for best box office numbers and the Film s'étant le plus illustré hors-Québec, which recognizes the film that did the most to raise Quebec cinema's profile outside of the province. That brought the C.R.A.Z.Y. total to 15 Jutras.
C.R.A.Z.Y.'s sweep was so vast that some of the winners lamented during the broadcast on ARTV and Radio-Canada that the epic victory had shut out so many other entries.
Henry Welsh, general director of the Jutras, acknowledged the sweep did shut out other worthy films, especially Maurice Richard, Charles Binamé's biopic about the hockey legend, which had 14 noms but came away empty-handed.
"This was a purely democratic process. C.R.A.Z.Y. has been a film adored by the public and critics alike. It has made the news every week since it came out last summer, getting standing ovations at film festivals around the world, winning [best Canadian feature] at the Toronto International Film Festival. These sorts of sweeps happen in award ceremonies in other places. Titanic and The Lord of the Rings did just this at the Oscars," says Welsh.
Though few could argue about Quebec's robust film industry, there were hard feelings about the C.R.A.Z.Y. sweep. On the Monday following the awards, Montreal's Le Devoir quoted Binamé as suggesting a committee system might be better for the Jutras, rather than the one-member, one-vote system that is currently in place.
Welsh thinks otherwise, noting, "The Genies uses the jury system, and C.R.A.Z.Y. also cleaned up there, with 11 wins."
Popular actor Luc Picard's directorial debut L'Audition, about an actor struggling with an existential crisis, went in with 11 nominations, but came away with only one Jutra - best musical score for Daniel Bélanger.
Bernard Émond's spiritual mystery La Neuvaine, with eight nods, won best actress for Élise Guilbault.
Tying for best documentary were Galafilms' La Classe de Madame Lise, directed by Sylvie Groulx, about a teacher and her first-grade students, and Amazone Films' Gilles Carle ou l'indomptable imaginaire, directed by Binamé. Best animated short went to Patrick Bouchard's Dehors novembre, produced by the National Film Board.
The record for Jutra wins was previously held by François Girard's The Red Violin, which garnered nine trophies at the inaugural 1999 Jutra ceremony.