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The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005)
"De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté" (original title)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  16 March 2005 (France)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 13,594 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 70 user | 99 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Will Thomas still lead a life of crime and cruelty, just like his thuggish father, or will he pursue his dream of becoming a pianist?

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(scenario), (scenario), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 20 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Fabrice
Gilles Cohen ...
Sami
...
Miao Lin
...
...
Chris
Anton Yakovlev ...
Minskov
...
Minskov's Girlfriend
Agnès Aubé ...
Woman
Etienne Dirand ...
Old Man
Denis Falgoux ...
Metreur
Serge Onteniente ...
Man
Sandy Whitelaw ...
Mr. Fox
Emmanuel Finkiel ...
Conservatory Professor
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Storyline

Twenty-eight-year-old Tom leads a life that might be termed as criminal. In doing so, he follows in the footsteps of his father, who made his money from dirty, and sometimes brutal, real estate deals. Tom is a pretty hard-boiled guy but also strangely considerate as far as his father is concerned. Somehow he appears to have arrived at a critical juncture in his life when a chance encounter prompts him to take up the piano and become a concert pianist, like his mother. He senses that this might be his final opportunity to take back his life. His piano teacher is a Chinese piano virtuoso who has recently come to live in France. She doesn't speak a lick of French so music becomes the only language they have in common. Before long, Jacques' bid to be a better person means that he begins to yearn for true love. But, when he finally has the chance of winning his best friend's wife, his passion only succeeds in scaring her. And then, one day, his dubious past comes to light... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

16 March 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Beat That My Heart Skipped  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€5,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$52,122 (Argentina) (16 June 2006)

Gross:

$152,280 (Argentina) (30 June 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Thomas's headphones are Sony MDR-V300. See more »

Quotes

Sami: Playing piano is making you flip. Stop it now!
Thomas Seyr: Nothing's making me flip. I'm not flipping. I'm having a ball. I feel fantastic, dont' you see? It's important, I'm serious about it.
Sami: You gonna make dough from pianos?
Thomas Seyr: Not pianos, the piano! It's not about making money, it's about art.
Sami: What's in it for us? You coming to meetings all, 'Hi guys, I've been playing piano.' Shit, I'll take up the banjo.
Thomas Seyr: It's over your head
See more »

Connections

Remake of Fingers (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturne en mi mineur
de Frédéric Chopin (as Chopin)
Interprète piano: Caroline Duris
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Maybe the best French film I've seen so far this year- stylish, realistic, not for everyone...
24 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For the particular movie fan, The Beat That My Heart Skipped, is a slice of intensity, wonder, and subtlety that can only come from Europe. The director/co-writer, Jacques Audiard, has taken a film previously made by James Toback called Fingers, starring Harvey Keitel in the role now occupied by Romain Duris, and made it his own. If I had seen the original version I would make a couple of comparisons to it (at the least, for those who didn't see the original the remake makes you want to check out the original, if only for the acting appeal of Keitel). However I did think about another wonderful French film in the vein of this film- Francois Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player.

While Truffaut's film is a little more concerned about the lead's relationship(s) with women, I felt a kind of connection between the material of the two pieces- sometimes intense, usually lyrical, tales of a person trying to find what fits more for them, the more criminal side, or the artistic side. And, much like Truffaut and his other New-Wave counterparts, Audiard successfully takes an American formula picture and forms it well into a French setting.

There are a few reasons to recommend the movie, one would be for the music, which gives repeated but specific renditions of a Bach tune. Another would be just for the technical-side, which is well-done in hand-held, neo-noir style by Stephane Fontaine. Another could even just be for how Audiard tells his story, or sometimes doesn't tell it: a couple of times mid-way through the film, I wondered if the story of this character would 'go' anywhere, which can either make or break a film of this kind. It pleasantly (or intensely) did, bringing a catharsis for a viewer by the final scenes.

But likely for most the prominent reason would be for the realistic acting, in particular by its star Duris. As I said, I can't make comparisons between a heavyweight like Keitel and Duris (whom I've never seen in a film before this), but on his own terms Duris creates his character believably. It's at times a complex character, or sometimes not- he has that kind of attitude and face where you don't know whether he's really a 'street-level' guy or more straight laced. The split that is also apparent in the character's parents, one a classic pianist who's passed on (the mother), and the other a more criminal-type of a father, also gives the film an added boost of psychological energy. The lead in this film, much like with the storytelling (or lack of it), dictates how it may turn out.

In the end, Audiard and Duris make it compelling enough for the film to be about him, his conflicts, his lusts, his music. It's a wonderful movie that seems to have passed under the radar (it's in only a few theaters around the area) amid other independent summer fare, but if you're an enthusiast of character-driven thrillers that give a bitter-sweet edge, it's a must-see.


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