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Heartbeats (2011)



Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 68
Fresh: 50 | Rotten: 18

An art film to the max, Heartbeats intriguing and appealing premise is sometimes buried by director Xavier Dolan's filmmaking flourishes.


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 5

An art film to the max, Heartbeats intriguing and appealing premise is sometimes buried by director Xavier Dolan's filmmaking flourishes.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 8,834

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Movie Info

Xavier Dolan's sexy and stylish HEARTBEATS is a comic exploration of a romantically obsessed menage-a-trois. HEARTBEATS was a hit at the Cannes Film Festival, winning the Youth Prize, and an official selection of the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Part farce, part exploration of the complexity of love and desire, HEARTBEATS centers on two close friends, Francis (Xavier Dolan) and Marie (Monia Chokri), who find themselves fighting for the affections of the same striking young man


Drama, Romance, Art House & International

Xavier Dolan

Jul 26, 2011


IFC Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (68) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (18)

It can seem as if style is all in Dolan's films, but as well as revelling in its pleasures, they also dissect its limitations - sometimes without anaesthetic.

May 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ultimately what makes "Heartbeats" tick is that it's less about love objects and more about friends who are stuck with each other, for better or worse.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Spends 100 minutes dispensing painful examples of how infatuation turns people into idiots.

April 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are moments of heartbreaking beauty in it - although Dolan is still a work in progress. He'll get better - he's immensely talented - but he's not quite there yet.

April 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not too deep but oh so pretty, "Heartbeats" presents a hyper-stylized look at a love triangle, a sort of "Jules and Jim" for millennials.

March 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Alas, although Heartbeats is quite lovely to look at, there isn't much going on after all.

March 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is a dream bubble, fragile and precious, that lingers over your head and heart, until bursting with the final scenes.

July 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Dial M For Movies
Dial M For Movies

May be the most raw and visceral cinematic portrayal of infatuation I've ever seen, with nearly every shot conveying aching, unrequited desire.

August 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Blather
Film Blather

In Dolan, the hipster crowd might well have found their latest poster boy.

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Who knew being young, beautiful and hip could be so tedious?

June 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Scotsman

It's likeable enough, though there's far too much slow motion.

May 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian

A subtle and painfully amusing battle of wills.

May 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Independent

Lushly, not to say swishly made, the whole thing is really just a pseudo-poetic trifle.

May 27, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

There is something rather flimsy about Heartbeats. That said, it certainly shows that Dolan has quite a career ahead of him.

May 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian

Hipster's delight.

May 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Every frame is a joy to look at, and the three leads very appealing.

May 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4

Ultimately, Dolan's image-led central characters and their shallow, bitchy concerns won't appeal to everyone, but those who've experienced l'amour fou themselves will find plenty to enjoy.

May 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Dolan has a gift but he hasn't fully unwrapped it.

May 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Opening with a recurring set of interviews with love scorned young people, Heartbeats lays down a tonne of 20-something sarcasm communicated through tongue-clicks, snide smirks and eye-rolls galore.

May 25, 2011 Full Review Source: The Skinny
The Skinny

Sumptuously photographed and elegantly stylised, Heartbeats' exterior is as seductive as Schneider's R-Pattzalike. Dig beneath the surface, though, and there ain't much there.

May 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

A fizzing delight that tips a nod to the masters of the French New Wave without sacrificing its identity or sense of freshness. Recommended.

May 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

At 21, actor-filmmaker Dolan proves that I Killed My Mother was no fluke. This is even bolder filmmaking that continually takes risks with its material

May 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Too many musical interludes, too much posing, and generally not enough meat in the sandwich.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

Dolan's characters may for the most part be keenly observed, but it all becomes eye-rolling when he takes his stylization into overdrive.

April 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Washington City Paper
Washington City Paper

Audience Reviews for Heartbeats

Heartbeats is seductively subtle both in its humour and in its drama. I didn't 'lol' but I did titter and smile through-out, which is better I think. Monia Chokri and Xavier Dolan are brilliant as best friends in competition, never auguring but saying a thousand words with a few glances and gestures. It's also seductive visually, not just because everyone is disgustingly beautiful but because Xavier Dolan has such a talent at such a young age, it's clear to see he was born to do this. Sure his influences may be obvious but there is no mistaking his understanding of what works and his own ideas. The last 10 minutes is brilliant brilliant brilliant cinema, very chic, very sophisticated and very charming. I absolutely loved it. Xavier Dolan is a film maker to watch out for!
October 27, 2011

Super Reviewer

A spectacular film that left me astonished. Xavier Dolan is so young but already so incredibly talented and bright, and he proves that once again, starring, directing and producing this fascinating work about passion, obsession and the idealized nature of unrequited love.
January 21, 2011

Super Reviewer

As with his first film, Dolan's "Heartbeats" is interested in the passive-aggressive, and his style brings these little things that people do to the forefront. A subtle and by times surreal film about a presumably bisexual Adonis and the man and the woman who are in love with him, this film goes even further, punctuating itself with interviews à la When Harry Met Sally, allusions to classic films (Breakfast at Tiffany's) and raw, personal moments as well. In my opinion, Dolan wrote a little past the ending in this one - there was a beautiful ending about four minutes before the actual ending - but I can see how it works both ways. Another hit from the French-Canadian Fellini, though. Dolan is one of the world's best up-and-coming directors: get in on the ground floor and see ths movie!
December 12, 2010

Super Reviewer

In "Heartbeats," Nicolas(Niels Schneider), a friend of a friend, is in Montreal after completing a temp job on an oil platform. Considering how handsome he is, it is no wonder that both Marie(Monia Chokri) and Francis(Xavier Dolan, who also writes and directs) are attracted to him. That's especially true after he formally invites them both to this place to watch a movie. After which, they all sleep in the same bed together.

As dull and flat as "Heartbeats" is, the movie does make one valid point when Francis says that some vintage nostalgia should be done away with. Applying that to the French New Wave, I personally think it is alright to venerate those films, but not imitate them which is what is going on here with Dolan adding little of interest or personality of his own. The interviews serve no purpose except to test the zoom function on the camera and might have worked if they had all been about the same person, which would have complemented the rest of the film nicely. In fact, the movie turns completely on a single conceit that while it makes perfect sense could be read in two ways, both equally cruel. Instead, I would have preferred a positive message about how adults need to share, too.
July 27, 2012
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Herzensbrecher - Les amours imaginaires (DE)
  • Heartbeats (Les amours imaginaires) (UK)
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