The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005)

JACQUES AUDIARD

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.5.

Original title:  De Battre Mon Coeur S’Est Arrete

France, 2005.  Why Not Productions, Sédif Productions, France 3 Cinéma, Cofimage 15, Canal+, CinéCinéma, Région Ile-de-France.  Screenplay by Jacques Audiard, , based on Fingers by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

It’s hard to continue with your life as a glorified thug when you decide to pursue the high arts.  is excellent as a young man who works for his father, hassling the people who live in their slum tenements by any violent means necessary. He is reminded of a previous life when he runs into his old piano teacher on a random occasion and it sparks memories of what might have been. Pretty soon Duris finds himself hiring a Chinese piano teacher who speaks no French to help get him back up to snuff in order to prepare him for a major music school audition. His shady life is never far from the periphery, however, and constantly threatens to interfere with his getting ahead. Sensitive direction by Jacques Audiard keeps this one’s themes from ever getting lofty, instead it’s an intelligent and thought-provoking character study punctuated by terrific performances (including a wonderful , lithely charming as always, as Duris’ father’s girlfriend) and moments of poignancy.

Berlin Film Festival Award:   Best Film Music

European Film Award Nomination:  Best European Actor (Romain Duris)

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