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Léolo (Version française)

4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 13.99
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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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Leo! March 19 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Leo(lo) Lazone is a French Canadian boy who believes that he lives in Italy and is in love with a gorgeous young woman. His pathetic, poverty stricken life is rife with violence & disfunctional family members. He worships his bodybuilder brother but even that doesn't last long in Leolo's "House of Cards" world. If you enjoyed "Jesus of Montreal" you'll LOVE Leolo. Typical, quirky, French Canadian movie, cuts right to the bone: you'll see a lot of yourself (and perhaps some of your family) in this earthy slice-of-life film. Don't forget to Turn On the captioning!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Holden
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 July 1 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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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing film. April 9 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
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 went without a deeply running reaction to it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Complete Film July 26 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is a rare and brilliant film. It is told through the eyes of Leo Lauzon, a young adolescent boy living in Montreal. His life and that of his family are so squalid and disconcerting that Leo lives inside his colorful head by means of a vivid imagination. He creates fantastical stories because the alternative can not be true.
It is both a Drama and a Comedy, and the two go together seamlessly. It will have people laughing and feeling sad at the same time. Unlike other black comedies this one stays honest and completely believable. The film has a message that isn't simply shock, and everything is presented in it's natural duality. Everthing has it's cause and effect, and these are displayed unflinchingly. This movie goes full circle in a way that few can muster, highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful July 3 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
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. A lovely dark comedy about a young boy following the familial tendency towards delussion, fantasy and ultimately insanity, beginning with his unbending belief that his was an immaculate conception - the result of his mother being impregnated by a lot of tomatoes infected with the sperm of an Italian farmer. The addition of the prose of Rejean Ducharme makes this film truely eloquent and poignant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie May 2 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This film, about a boy in French-Canada growing up in a family with twisted chromosomes, is stunning. The writing is beautiful, and the cinematography is both original and extraordinary. The movie's use of the soundtrack is both inventive and emotionally effective. I usually get offended by the use of emotional cue music, but in this case I'm feeling too much to notice. I have watched this movie at least 30 times, and I am still catching elements that I missed. This is extraordinarily hard to find, but it is well worth the effort. There is some disturbing imagery, but the reward is very high.
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