Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Beat That My Heart Skipped

De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté
Why Not Productions
Director: Jacques Audiard
Length: 106 min.
Format: DVD
Date Viewed: 16 January

The Beat That My Heart Skipped has many moral quandaries throughout its runtime, but it focuses mainly on Thomas Seyr's (Romain Duris) decision between a future of being either a thug/shady real estate buyer or a concert pianist. This is also embodied in a struggle of loyalty towards either his father (himself a thug and rather weak loan shark) or his deceased mother (herself a noted concert pianist, who trained Thomas while he was a boy). Such a disparate choice of futures is fascinating, and is written and played very well by Duris, who also must decide between his piano teacher and his business partner's betrayed wife, and whether or not to collect a debt for his father from a deadly Russian criminal. The script is good overall, and the excellent cast more than makes up for their characters' one-dimensionality that is the script's one major shortcoming. Audiard is confident in his direction, and the cinematography is strong, with very restricted lighting and well-done hand-held camerawork. Audiard brings all the elements of filmmaking together flawlessly in the third act, where he ramps us the tension until it's almost unbearable during the riveting climax. This is one of the best thrillers I've seen in the past few years, and is easily one of the best of 2005.


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