The Beat That My Heart Skipped

The Beat That My Heart Skipped

****

Reviewed by: Chris

The Beat That My Heart Skipped is a beautiful film.

Thomas Seyr is a property dealer. A broker. A fast talker. A fixer. He and his two partners encourage sellers to sell cheap. Encouragement includes releasing rats into the property at night, or the liberal use of baseball bats.

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But this is a beautiful film.

Mr Shady Adrenalin-Rush Seyr has a past. Not a bad past - more of a silver lining that accidentally gets uncovered. Like his mother, he used to play piano. A twist of circumstances has him suddenly realise that he has a chance to be a pianist and so takes lessons to prepare for an audition. He remembers his teacher telling him, "The emotion is not very generous," and, at the same time, the film slips into a minor key as our involvement kicks in.

Playing piano interferes with Thomas being a total bastard, much to the annoyance of his colleagues, who don't want him pussyfooting around with such a silly hobby, but the audience and Thomas sense a soul struggling to shine through his shitty persona and the amphetamine paced timeframe stops the movie from going gooey or sentimental.

More formula follows when we see him at the piano, naked from the waist up after making love - flattering lighting, Chopin, Debussy, Bach and Mozart, the sensuous arty mix as electro moves to classical.

The Beat That My Heart Skipped carefully pushes all the right buttons, but still seems fresh, given French naturalistic acting, an unpredictable storyline and a great soundtrack. A remake of Fingers, with Harvey Keitel, it is entertaining and funny and stands up well, even if lacking in substance.

Thomas eventually finds what his heart missed, though not quite as predicted.

Reviewed on: 01 Sep 2005
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The Beat That My Heart Skipped packshot
A young heavy, following in his father's violent footsteps yearns for something more.
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Read more The Beat That My Heart Skipped reviews:

Scott Macdonald ***1/2

Director: Jacques Audiard

Writer: Jacques Audiard, Tonino Benacquista, based on the film Fingers, written and directed by James Toback

Starring: Romain Duris, Niels Arestrup, Linh Dan Pham, Aure Atika, Emmanuelle Devos, Jonathan Zaccai, Gilles Cohen, Anton Yakovlev, Melanie Laurent

Year: 2004

Runtime: 107 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: France

Festivals:

EIFF 2005

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