Zac is the fourth of five sons in a Montreal family, growing up in the 60s and 70s. He’s sensitive, and rather more in touch with his feminine qualities than his father (very macho, though a huge fan of Patsy Cline) would like. The film then tracks Zac’s struggle to accept the direction his sexuality takes, to accept himself, and to once again find his father’s acceptance.
Lord knows that rock music is more than the soundtrack of our teenage years; it’s the narration. And so it is here for Zac, with the Rolling Stones (“Sympathy for the Devil”), David Bowie (“Space Oddity”) and Pink Floyd (“Shine On You Crazy Diamond”) taking pride of place, setting up a dialogue with Zac’s father’s own life soundtrack (Patsy Cline and Charles Aznavour). By turns moving and funny, but always ringing true, this is a quietly remarkable film.
Given how great a role the music plays here, it’s a relief to be able to say that the 5.1 soundtrack is up to the job. The rock is big and loud, and the audio is generally very enveloping. A nice example of this occurs early in the film, when we first see the family in church. The choir fills the room, and when the priest speaks, the rear speakers pick up the echo of his voice. Good touch. The dialogue is clear and undistorted.
The colours are vibrant while remaining realist. Contrasts, blacks, and flesh tones are all excellent. The image is sharp, and grain and edge enhancement are not issues. In other words, a thoroughly pleasing transfer by any measure, which also very nicely evokes the periods in which the film sets its scene.
Nothing but the trailer.
I’ll confess, I was wondering if the film could sustain itself over 127 minutes. It does. Very well indeed.