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Léolo (Version française)

DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 13.99
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Léolo (Version française) + Mon Oncle Antoine [Import] + Monsieur Lazhar (Version française)
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Second et dernier long métrage, après Un zoo la nuit, de la comète Jean-Claude Lauzon, Léolo est un vigoureux poème visuel, jamais sentimental, toujours dense et touchant. Entre une mère monumentale de tendresse (Ginette Reno), un père toujours là et toujours absent, un grand-père libidineux (Julien Guiomar) et des frères et soeurs marqués par la peur et la folie, le petit Léo (Maxime Collin) rêve. Il rêve d’Italie, d’une famille inventée et d’improbables trésors au fond de l’eau. Il rêve sa vie parce que, répète-t-il constamment : “Je rêve, donc je ne suis pas”.

Présenté en compétition officielle au Festival de Cannes en 1992, Léolo a causé un émoi dans le cinéma québécois. Entre la poésie de Forcier et la virulence de Kusturica, Lauzon a su créer de toutes pièces un univers unique dans notre paysage cinématographique. Sa grande force réside dans les images : images-chocs (le garçon se masturbant dans du foie de veau !), images simples (la mère et son fils dans la salle d’attente d’un cabinet de médecin) et images fortes (la “naissance” de Léo), qui composent le véritable vocabulaire de ce cinéaste surdoué. Si l’enchaînement de ces vignettes apparaît parfois décousu, et si la narration, superbement dite par Gilbert Sicotte, est souvent redondante, Léolo reste une oeuvre vibrante, un formidable hommage à l’enfance.

À l’instar des 400 Coups ou de Ma vie de chien, Léolo montre, sous le couvert d’une autobiographie fantasmée, la naissance d’un grand réalisateur, dont la mort prématurée a laissé un grand vide dans une cinématographie souvent trop sage… --Éric Fourlanty


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Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Holden
Format:DVD
Jean-Claude Lauzon was, no doubt, a troubled genius. I have seen Leolo many times and also the documentary about its director titled Lauzon Lauzon.
Leolo is a work of art. Lauzon attacked this project like a composer attacks a symphony. Its said that he played tapes of the musical scores for the producer, while standing over his shoulder and demanding that he read the script immediately.
Lauzon used music like a knife to make his points in some scenes. We hear the sacred tones of classical hymn while we see the gritty sometimes profane reality that Leolo lives in. There is Catholic symbolism and guilt oozing out of this film. The voice who speaks to us off an on throughout the film is excellent; through the voice of the archivist, of Leolo's
papers and deepest thoughts, we are allowed access to his psyche. The voice is also in English on the DVD.
Maxime Collin is an incredible young actor. He plays Leo who refuses to be a french Canadian boy from the poorest part of Montreal and instead he is Leolo's a white shirted Italian boy who lives for romance and beauty (oh yes and the Italian Countryside is beautiful). Our main charter repeats over and over, "I think therefore I am not". There is a lot here that Leolo would "not" want to be. Crazy for starters as his family home is a bit of an asylum.
If you're squeamish, steer away, there are gritty scenes here. Yes a cat gets defiled (among other things), but for the prudish reviewer who claimed he smashed his tape at this point, I really doubt that the cat was hurt. Kinda of like the horses didn't really die in Brave Heart, my friend! Look beyond the cat to the social statement that is being made about the boy who is involved.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Perverse, deep and difficult to forget June 30 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Do not believe the boxcover that portrays this as a delightful comedy about sexual curiosity! Leolo is much darker than that.
Here we find a gritty life through the eyes of a youngster who happens to be a bit of a magical realist. Some moments are witty, such as the imagined story of his conception while others are downright awkward and painful.
What I liked best about the movie were the several thematic areas it covered in a symbolic and mythical fashion. It addresses an individual's and family's psychological disintegration, the status of the urban underclass, & sexuality. It also portrays the boy, leolo, as a sort of magical escapist messiah for his hopeless family.
Leolo also happens to be one of only two films I have seen where a piece of raw liver is violated. (warning for the squeemish) If you are in any way prudish, do avoid this film.
In summary, this is an excellent & deep film for viewing with friends if you care to stimulate a strong discussion.
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Format:VHS Tape
Leo, a precocious child growing up in abject poverty, concocts an alternative identity as an Italian boy (Leolo) conceived through an encounter between his mother and a tomato, freshly doused with the onanistic spritz of an immigrant grocer. Surrounded by a (sur)real family-- a father obsessed with defecation, a sister who reigns as queen of the insects in the crawl-space below the family's tenament apartment, a bullied brother hiding from his environment in a steroid-enhanced body-- Leo(lo) excapes into the fiction of his alternative life, aided by a kind stranger who deposits books at his door-step. At night Leo reads these fantastic stories by stolen-light, and later they seep into his dreams, where he is enthralled and inspired by the beauty of an older neighbor-girl he fancies his muse and future lover. "Because I dream, I am..." Leolo reiterates throughout this bitter-sweet tale of a bright mind besieged by the inequities of life. While punctuated with hilarious episodes of mock-heroism, and scored by a delightful Tom Waits soundtrack, the film subtly reveals the brutalities that imperil Leo's comming of age. While we hope, with the protagonist, that art can triumph over the hardships of life, the film refuses the sadder-but-wiser narratives of redemption that usually underpin this genre. The innoscence and wisdom of a child's perspective is relayed in all of its precariousness. If you liked "My Life as a Dog," "400 Blows," or "Slingshot," this film will blow you away! More bitter than sweet, "Leolo" is a comming of age story that dares to question the faith we put in the creative individual to convert our collective social failures into the necessary conditions of art. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars A top notch, very black comedy from Montreal. Feb. 23 1999
Format:VHS Tape
An extraordinary black comedy set in Montreal. Leolo (a manufactured name) is a just slightly pre-pubescent boy who claims that only his dreams are sane and that he is the product of a very offbeat conception between an imported tomato and his mother. Trying to find his own reality, the main character narrates us into a surrealistic and somehow disturbing but yet very funny working of this his mind. As the young man begins to experience his own sexuality, we begin to see bits of reference to Phillip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint and with a film style which pays deference to Louis Malle's works, we become transported into a richly woven fabric of life in the blue collar neighborhood of Montreal. Beautifully acted, with a very good film score and the characteristic high quality of the "National Film Board of Canada" releases, Leolo is highly recommended to those who enjoy black comedy and fine cinema. English subtitles.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Leo!
Leo(lo) Lazone is a French Canadian boy who believes that he lives in Italy and is in love with a gorgeous young woman. Read more
Published on March 19 2012 by Kenneth O. Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars Mad Genius
Leolo is a powerful, one of a kind masterpiece. I have never seen a film with such great photography, writing and acting. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2003 by Matt Levine
1.0 out of 5 stars SICK, SICK, SICK
As a cat lover, who had not read a review of this atrocity, I was appalled at the torture of the poor animal in this film. Read more
Published on May 30 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing film.
There are few movies that are this sick, this beautiful, and this funny. It is unforgettable. It's been a personal favorite for years and no one who I've shown it to or lent it to... Read more
Published on April 9 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars CAT TORTURED
I agree with the reviewer from Sillicon Valley. Sure this movie starts out with a few funny scenes, but it just gets more and more depressing as it goes along. Read more
Published on Nov. 16 2002 by Betito Medel
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complete Film
This is a rare and brilliant film. It is told through the eyes of Leo Lauzon, a young adolescent boy living in Montreal. Read more
Published on July 26 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
This movie is deffinetely 'outside the box' and a far cry from Hollywood formulas. One of the few movies to really get under my skin. Read more
Published on July 3 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie
This film, about a boy in French-Canada growing up in a family with twisted chromosomes, is stunning. Read more
Published on May 2 2001 by David Grim
3.0 out of 5 stars Memorable scenes but mediocre movie
I don't quite understand all the praise this movie is getting here. I'm a big fan of art films, foreign films (surtout les filmes en francais), etc. Read more
Published on April 30 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars simply stunning
Leolo is one of the most provocative films I have ever seen. It will leave your mind reeling for days. It is a richly layered affair that is almost impossible to describe... Read more
Published on April 3 2001
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