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
Romain Duris's sister is a pianist, and she is the one who taught him to play piano for this film. 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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The "The Beat that my heart skipped" is an immaculately crafted and relentlessly gripping film. Its existential premise (a dodgy estate broker feels a sudden urge to rekindle his long abandoned passion for piano-playing whose rarefied world comes in contrast with his everyday life and seedy activities) is rooted in the world of film-noir. The escalating conflict between his "duties" and his lofty aspirations is unerringly captured while maintaining an eye for subtle but telling characterization of the supporting characters. Through his inner turmoil, the main drama materializes and the theme of unfulfilled potential due to a multiplicity of factors not always within somebody's control poignantly emerges.
Jacques Audiard, not the most famous but certainly one of the most talented french directors of the last ten years, has remarkably transcribed the mythology and some of the most eminent film-noir themes onto the modern era. The framing, lighting, music (especially its juxtaposition), mood and plot development are spot-on while the main performance my Romain Duris is career defining. The film stands out as one of the best modern neo-noir -a film with a rather singular style, akin to the director's equally commendable previous works.
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