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

Unrated  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  16 March 2005 (France)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 14,797 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 73 user | 102 critic | 32 from

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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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 20 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gilles Cohen ...
Miao Lin
Anton Yakovlev ...
Minskov's Girlfriend
Agnès Aubé ...
Etienne Dirand ...
Old Man
Denis Falgoux ...
Serge Onteniente ...
Sandy Whitelaw ...
Mr. Fox
Emmanuel Finkiel ...
Conservatory Professor


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


Unrated | See all certifications »



Release Date:

16 March 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Beat That My Heart Skipped  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


€5,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,179,031 (France) (18 March 2005)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


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 »


Remake of Fingers (1978) See more »


Toccata en fa# mineur
de Johann Sebastian Bach (as Bach)
Interprète piano: Caroline Duris
See more »

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User Reviews

Superb human drama
19 March 2007 | by (The Dutch Mountains) – See all my reviews

THE BEAT THAT MY HEART SKIPPED (Jacques Audiard - France 2005).

It's usually the other way round, but this time the French took a shot at remaking an American film, James Toback's FINGERS (1978), which starred Harvey Keitel. And the result is excellent. This riveting human drama by Jacques Audiard features an impressive performance by Romain Duris as Tom, a 28 year-old hoodlum who seems destined to follow in his father's footsteps as a property shark working in a sleazy, barely legal twilight zone of the dodgy Parisian real-estate world. But a chance encounter with a former music teacher leads him to believe that he can become, like his mother, a concert pianist. With the help of a young virtuoso pianist, who just arrived from China, he starts preparing for a crucial audition, but soon the pressures from his former pals mount and he gets trapped between two opposite worlds. But Tom is not just a sensible artistic young man desperately trying to escape the world he lives in. He's not entirely sure he wants to leave his old life behind him. He's got a mean streak and when necessary, he takes care of some unresolved matters using whatever means he deems appropriate to take care of unwilling partners, squatters or whoever gets in the way of his (or his father's business interests), really putting the squeeze on people unwilling to cooperate.

Romain Duris injects his role with an enormous amount of vibrancy and energy. I've never seen Duris in another role before, but his character is complex, perennially nervous, strained, angry, but incredibly charming. One moment he's in leather jacket, wiping the blood of his face after a little bashing with some squatters. The next, he's in suit and tie and negotiates with real-estate moguls. The film's atmosphere is dark, moody and downbeat, but Tom's vibrant energy and aggression firmly keeps the viewer's attention. Jacques Audiard's direction is remarkable assured. He seems to know exactly what he wants to present on the screen, never showy and a keen camera eye to give the already top-notch performances maximum impact. What's so refreshing, is that the film doesn't make a big point out of the human relationships. It never becomes overly sentimental, but at the same time all these characters are real and completely believable, just incredibly vivid characterizations. Sharply written, stylish, expertly paced, directed and performed, this is definitely one to catch.

Camera Obscura --- 9/10

22 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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