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Realism and fantasy collide in Jonathan Lethem's genre-bending coming-of-age story, which follows two estranged brothers as they try to leave New York City for a new life in California only... See full summary »
Anthony M. Bertram
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After a suicide attempt, Lucas, a young homeless man in New York City, is taken in by Jacques, the gruff owner of a small bar. Jacques is on his fifth or sixth heart attack, and he wants Lucas to run the bar after he dies. Jacques has many rules: don't be friendly, don't serve walk-ins, no food or flowers or candles, put the cash in the freezer every night. Lucas, on the other hand, has a good heart: he gives his money away, he talks to customers, and, when April, a young French woman who has washed out of flight-attendant school, enters the bar chilled to the bone, Lucas takes her in. If Jacques won't tolerate April, what will Lucas do?Written by
Brian Cox and Paul Dano also starred together in the movie "L.I.E." (2001) and the BBC mini-series "War and Peace" (2016). See more »
During the broccoli/fart scene, the bottle of what appears to be soy sauce is shown in different positions when the camera is shooting Lucas. See more »
Why did you try suicide?
Well, you know, when it comes to survival of the fittest, I just have to throw in the towel, I guess.
But you're not an animal, Lucas, you're a human being. You live in highly developed society that has all kinds of buffers and security nets that are designed to break your fall.
No, I don't follow the rules of civilization anymore. I'm outside. I'm an animal.
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This film is about a bitter bar owner who insults everyone he sees. He encounters a homeless young man with a good nature, and takes him as his apprentice in the bar.
"The Good Heart" is filmed artistically. The mostly dark colour scheme, and the old and bleak sets augment the film's dismal atmosphere. The story follows a predictable pattern, as two individuals with vastly different personalities collide, they change each other. Brian Cox puts on a great performance as a character who is bitter and cold. Paul Dano's character is very good natured to the point that he is vulnerable to exploitation. He has the good heart, which I did not imagine it to have a literal meaning. However, the slow pacing and the overly bleak atmosphere hurt the enjoyment factor. If this story was filmed as a light hearted comedy, it would have worked better.
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