Friday, August 1, 2008

The Beat My Heart Skipped

France's 2005 thriller De Battre Mon Coeur s'est Arrete (The Beat My Heart Skipped) is one of those movies you just shouldn't miss. It's a shame that subtitles will scare away so many from such a fantastic film.

Based on the book by Tonino Benacquista, directed by Parisian Jacques Audiard, this movie seems to come out of nowhere and grab you by the balls. The first time I saw this movie was in 2005, the year it was released, but a recent re-viewing reminded me of just how bitchin' Heart is.

The plot follows our protagonist Thomas Seyr, as he follows in his bastard of a father's footsteps making money in shady real estate deals. Some may term these deals 'criminal,' but hey, this is France, they let 12 year-olds drink and smoke. It becomes clear he has a history of studying the piano (obviously due to his deceased mother) and an opportunity presents itself to 27 year-old Tom to take up the piano again, possibly to a professional level, or continue on his current path of crime.

His father (who makes Tom often do his dirty work) manipulates his son into believing he must choose between music and family. The occasional shitty best friend and love interest make appearances and play their parts as well. The plot may sound simple enough, but Audiard is to directing what Thom Yorke is to post-rock. Audiard makes this movie so compelling you can't take your eyes off the damn screen, and you won't want to either. All performance are first-rate, making some scenes pretty difficult to watch because they're so believable (lead Romain Duris is freakishly gifted).

The cinematography is brilliant, the camera movements, angles, the images captured in each shot make on-screen poetry. All this is coupled with one of my favorite soundtracks ever. It's a masterful score that puts the icing on the cake, mixing classical ranging from Rachmaninoff and Brahms to Bloc Party to Telepopmusik's 'Breathe,' creating a feel and atmosphere you won't be able to forget. Tom reminds us in the film, 'it's not about making money, it's about art.' And Audiard never forgot that.

While the film's not rated, be prepared for elements. No nudity (sorry pervs), but language and violence would probably warrant an R rating from Fascist censor Nazis at the MPAA.

Rottentomatoes: 85% - Cream of the Crop: 78%

Finding a decent quality trailer for this film on YouTube was kind of hard. So I posted a couple, one in French that I think has better editing, one with writing at least in English (you can pretend it's that deep voiced guy that says stuff like, 'In a world, where nothing else matters...), and one where a guy put a bunch of the film's scenes to a Radiohead song that I liked. So, enjoy!


Cindroid said...

Hey! Gloogloo! You look pretty glooey!

I loved this movie. It is simply beautiful and so intriguing.

My favorite part of your review might be when you say "this movie seems to come out and grab you by the balls". You and Tom have so much in common.

Ira said...

И как бы ты ни оправдывался вчера, все равно отвратительная рецензия! Если бы я смотрела этот фильм, все мое внимание было бы сосредоточено на ожидании того самого момента, который вызвал в тебе столь непревзойденную иронию, выплеснутую в чисто "гриффиновском" стиле. :)

Cindroid said...

what did she say?

Jen said...

I'm going to be completely honest and tell you that subtitles scare me. I love to read and I love to watch movies, but I don't particularly enjoy doing them both at the same time. I will try to make an effort to see this movie if you think so highly of it.

Thanks for participating in the movie madness carnival!