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: French Neo-Noir:The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005)  ( 745 )
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« : May 14, 2017, 03:54:25 PM »


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Taking part in a poll on ICM on the best films of 2005,I started looking for French flicks from the year. Avoiding the movie due to the twee title,I was surprised to discover that the film was not a Romance,but a remake of 1978's Fingers (which I've not yet seen) that led to me catching up to the beat.

The plot:

Joining his dad Robert in business by beating up people who turn down deals,Thomas Seyr gets involved with pals Fabrice and Sami in setting up dodgy real estate deals. Becoming fully involved in a daily life of crime after his classical pianist mum died 8 years ago,Thomas is woken up when he crosses paths with his mums former manager,who asked Thomas if he has ever considered playing classical music,which makes Thomas play a new tune to his life.

View on the film:

Working as a director for hire, (producer Pascal Caucheteux wanted to do another remake after producing the US remake of Assault on Precinct 13) co-writer/(with Tonino Benacquista) director Jacques Audiard & cinematographer Stéphane Fontaine fluidly play Neo-Noir notes spun from up close,documentary-style "shaky" camera moves pushing the viewers nose into Thomas's grey and grime crime world. Backed by a warm score from Alexandre Desplat,Audiard finely tunes the darkness with shots of lights,as side shots of Thomas playing captures the notes in life Thomas is trying to hit,as his artistic dreams are plucked by the family life of crime.

Changing the plot after co-writer Benacquista said he hated Fingers, (what a perfect choice to write the remake!)the writers wonderfully string Thomas as a loner in a constant search to find a place to fit in,with a Neo-Noir self-contempt making Thomas believe that he must follow his dad's footsteps. Focusing on the relationship between Thomas and music,the writers wonderfully contrast between the music hall lights that Thomas escapes to,with the vicious,daily grind of his Noir life of crime. Joined by a great support cast that includes Anton Yakovlev as Minskov and Mélanie Laurent as Minskov's Girlfriend, Romain Duris (who got taught by his sister to play the piano for the film) gives an excellent performance as Thomas,which flows with the dream optimism of a new life,which Duris grinds down with a nose to the grindstone suspicion from Thomas that a finally piece has been written for his life.

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