The Good Heart (2009)
Average Rating: 4.6/10
Reviews Counted: 35
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 24
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.3/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 12
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 1,539
Dagur Kari's character study The Good Heart follows crusty old bar owner Jacques (Brian Cox) as he trains a generous young homeless man named Lucas (Paul Dano) to take over his beloved bar. Jacques suffers from a very bad heart, and understands that any day could be his last. However, this does not stop him from chain smoking, drinking nonstop, and hurling an endless stream of poetically vulgar insults at the regulars who gather at his establishment every night. As the two begin to slowly
Apr 30, 2010 Wide
Aug 10, 2010
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site
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The movie's two bright spots are Cox and Dano, who perform excellently despite the dull inevitabilities the script forces on them.
Cox doesn't so much chew the scenery as inhale it. Dano looks on in awe. Who can blame him? For that matter, who can blame Cox?
This odd couple never moves beyond oddness and the lower-depths shenanigans grate.
It's a strange thing, this type of whimsy. Kari offers us ideas in place of characters, and yet he expects us to see through these ideas to the real-life conditions they represent -- and then to respond to them in kind.
Cox makes his reanimation a believable, joyful change of heart, rather than a labored bit of plot manipulation. He seems ennobled, not merely sentimentalized.
But the film has no grasp of reality. And, worse, it has no feel for poetry, settling for pat contrasts between the two men, and taking its cardiac imagery to an absurd and literal conclusion.
The relationship of the characters played by Cox and Dano, more innocent than the dynamic the two actors explored nine years ago in L.I.E., makes for an eccentric buddy-film gone right.
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. And they're always glad you came. The bar in "The Good Heart" is emphatically not that place.
Welcome to New York City Skid Row by way of Reykjavik, Iceland. In the Paris-born, Iceland-raised Dagur Kari's "The Good Heart," you will find a New York City unlike any other.
Icelandic writer/director Dagur Kári embraces the deadpan, absurdist comedy of Finland's Aki Kaurismäki and Norway's Bent Hamer, but in place of the usual laconic antihero, he offers Cox's bellowing, Beethoven-maned troglodyte.
Too sentimental for art house crowds and too dirty for multiplex folk, The Good Heart is a movie without an audience about characters that never feel like they really exist.
You know those movies where two very different people meet, and you're so intrigued by both of them that you hope they'll form an unlikely friendship? Well, The Good Heart isn't one of them.
A hangover toast to an old New York with original wood paneling, cassette tapes and indoor smoking
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