Armed with a license to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007 and must defeat a weapons dealer in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, but things are not what they seem.
Based on the Starkweather-Fugate killing spree of the 1958, in which a fifteen-year-old girl and her twenty-five-year-old boyfriend slaughtered her entire family and several others in the Dakota badlands.
The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »
In the underbelly of the Parisian criminal world, the Police are frustrated by a gang committing a series of violent robberies. Leo Vrinks and Denis Klein are two cops seeking promotion, ... See full summary »
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
The film's title comes from a line in French singer Jacques Dutronc's song, "La fille du père Noël" ("Santa Claus's daughter"). See more »
Playing piano is making you flip. Stop it now!
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.
You gonna make dough from pianos?
Not pianos, the piano! It's not about making money, it's about art.
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.
It's over your head
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Maybe the best French film I've seen so far this year- stylish, realistic, not for everyone...
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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