Heartbeats - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Heartbeats Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 2, 2016
A spectacular film that left me astonished, since Xavier Dolan is so young but so incredibly talented and full of ideas, which he proves once again, starring, directing and producing this fascinating work about passion, obsession and the idealized nature of unrequited love.
February 1, 2016
"Heartbeats", Xavier Dolan's first feature, proves that style is far more important than people consider it to be. Why, without its director's sense of style, "Heartbeats" would have been almost completely without interest, so one should be glad that Xavier Dolan doesn't really care about the "oh, style-over-substance" crap cliche.

"Ler Amours Imaginaires" is very much like its blonde seducer: the best way to enjoy it is to surrender yourself to it, follow its rhythm. It's not one of the easiest movies to review, because there aren't plenty of things to write about.

Oh, yes, one more thing, again, this doesn't follow a traditional narrative and the main characters might annoy people in need of a more traditional setup, so, yes, if you are not a cinephile and/or if you don't find the main characters to your liking, chances are you're not gonna like this flick. And if you are a lesser critic with a high sense of self-importance, you will give this flick a negative review and join the herd who wonders why such films are being made or promoted.

Overall, I am giving this 4 out of 5(actually it would be more like 3,75 out of 5, because sometimes the pace is too slow for the film's own good)
½ January 15, 2016
Some kind of confusing and disturbing but captures your attention
½ October 14, 2015
Sometimes too self-aware, this indie flick about two best friends fighting for the affection of the same man is visceral, raw and even heartwarming at times.
½ September 29, 2015
To watch unreciprocated romantic obsession from afar is a pathetic thing to view - even the most intelligent of individuals can turn into raging incompetents as their emotions demonically possess their heads - but it's something we've all experienced, in the form of a crush or even an erotic fixation. In film, such compulsions are taken to egregiously dangerous levels, as evidenced by Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo", Sofia Coppola's "The Virgin Suicides", or even Brian De Palma's "Obsession". On a cinematic level, seeing someone of a sound mind crumble due to simple idolization is depressingly compelling - as much as we want to look away, we, similar to the character we look down upon, find ourselves in too deep to detach.
The second film by blossoming French-Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan (who was 21 at the time of releasee), "Heartbeats" is a stylishly shot art film reminiscent of the works of Wong-Kar Wai and the barren discontent of Woody Allen's "Interiors", featuring just as much of a glistening sheen as a flavorful emotional smorgasbord. Perhaps Dolan's stylistic tendencies can be tiresome - his heavy use of slow-motion is at first thrilling but becomes decrepit as it keeps reappearing - but there is no denying his youthful, cinephilic wisdom. Like Tarantino, we can tell that we're watching the work of a filmmaker who grew up on movies, not a grizzled money churner who hardened during film school.
In addition to writing and directing, Dolan also stars as Francis, a young man who, along with his best friend, Marie (an excellent Monia Chokri), finds himself carnally consumed with Nicolas (Niels Schneider), a charismatic moppet they stumble across at an acquaintance's party. For the first act of "Heartbeats", the three forge a close bond lined in prominent sexual tension - but as it dissolves and the conclusion of the film draws near, Nicolas loses interest in his new pals, while they, in turn, remain damaged by his ethereal appeal.
Such entanglements can be treacherous. Marie is a woman completely unaware of who she is, habitually dressing like a character from "Mad Men" because she doesn't know how to be herself; Francis, a sensitive homosexual, takes the world too seriously - to him, a simple "I love you" means permanent adoration, not passing affection. So when Nicolas, wily and charming, takes advantage of them, possibly knowing of their vulnerabilities, it sends them over the edge, both so positive in their idolization that they confuse infatuation with an actual returned love.
"Heartbeats" is too subtle to outrightly say what it's trying to say - it's such a character study it would rather watch its characters than explain them. But its constant understatement is only highlighted by Dolan's sure-fire style; the film, in turn, becomes intoxicating, so wholly potent in its style that the melodramatic content is underlined. We are persistently transfixed, only lapsing in bewitchment when Dolan turns back to slow-motion again.
But "Heartbeats" is only slightly flawed, a massively fascinating work from an auteur still learning what kind of auteur he wants to be. Dolan is a thoughtful writer and an appealing actor - and with his considerable editorial and directorial talents, it won't be long before he reaches standards set by other French greats like Claude Chabrol or Louis Malle.
½ September 24, 2015
A little too slow and uneventful for me, but I can still see the talent apparent in spurts throughout. Nobody is better at shooting people walking than Dolan! None of Dolan's stories or characters have blown me away yet narratively, but I'm still mostly fascinated with his movies. Solid, but unremarkable for me.
½ August 22, 2015
Whenever I'm asked why I'm not enamored with Xavier Dolan as a filmmaker, I tell them I watched "Heartbeats" first and resent them for telling me the man who directed this was the future of filmmaking. I hate to use this word when reviewing a film, but here, it's warranted: "pretentious." That's, to me, what "Heartbeats" is to the T: a pretentious, shallow update of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "The Dreamers", but with more of an obsession with slow motion applications of perfume over deeper character understanding. Thankfully, his follow-up film "Laurence Anyways" was a vast improvement.
Super Reviewer
½ July 12, 2015
A picture by Xavier Dolan that uses the often fatal flaw in the design of certain films; style over substance really works wonders for some reason in this one. The masses of slow motion movement, enormous cigarette budget and bountful soundtrack of indie and dream pop meanders steadily through the constant and mostly uninvolving plot. Heartbeats is a study of love from the other side of the window and explores obsession, confusion, alienation and all that other pretentious stuff. It's an amazing film full of amazing looking people and promising young talent, but its certainly not for everyone. It isn't P.S I Love You or Fatal Attraction. It's Dolan.
½ July 7, 2015
Ok, don't get me wrong. I like slow-motion scenes with music as much as the next guy. It's one of the things that initially drew me to Wes Anderson. But, good lord...this movie felt like one long, continuous melodramatic music video. Way too much of it. This movie felt very self-indulgent, and yet I respect what the director was trying to get at.
July 4, 2015
Vocês não entende merda nenhuma de cinema 5 5 5 5 5
May 22, 2015
Bien se puede esperar gran elocuencia por porte de un director (que en el 90% de sus filmes ha actuado) que magnifica la incomodidad de las decisiones humanas en películas que parecieran no tener fin a la hora de ser vistas. En la comedia negra Heartbeats (o Les Amours Imaginaires) las bellas composiciones visuales se colan ante la experiencia y resultan siendo ellas las principales personajes de la película. Otro error también cae en la utilización de miradas y comenterios indirectas(os) en los diálogos que ocasionan un tedioso desarrollo en un triángulo amoroso que de por si ya es cliché. Resalta el desenlace de la película al encontrarnos con la paz que Dolan ha acostumbrado en el final de sus productos, esto, después de que en cada una de sus historias, los personajes viven con problemas que parecieran no irse, pero al final (por haber sido gestadas en el Mundo Dolan) todo será calma y tranquilidad.
April 13, 2015
His second feature, HEARTBEATS is not Xavier Dolan's best but as always, the film shows an energy and talent that's modern and truly captures the way we live now. However, this is the only one of Dolan's features that feels immature. A film about the young from the young. And Dolan is young. Only 22 when he made HEARTBEATS but still a step back after the amazing I KILLED MY MOTHER.
March 25, 2015
Pure hipster crap. These characters are some of these most self-absorbed and self-pitying I've ever seen, hiding behind a lame veil of quirk and been-there, done-that style. And what's the message here? People are selfish and shortsighted, completely driven by their libidos with no moral compass of any kind? It's supposedly a comedy, but the humor was completely lost on me. At least the music is good...
March 18, 2015
Second feature from young Canadian prodigy Xavier Dolan, this film is an interesting study of relationships during the adolescence. The film explore the notion of ménage-a-trois with comic imagination and an amazing array of different techniques that propel the film into a superior category. The story is simple but the way it's shot makes the whole difference. Dolan is unafraid to use every possible style, effects and tricks he can to portray this intimate, sometimes funny, sometimes sad exploration of love, attraction, friendship and disappointments. Quite interesting film.
½ March 10, 2015
Boring and non-interesting characters, Heartbeats might be Dolan's weakest film.
February 5, 2015
Not quite as deep as it thinks itself to be, but nonetheless a very artistic and nicely told story that manages to be unconventional and familiar at the same time.
February 2, 2015
"Heartbeats" features far too many empty stylistic interludes (Dolan regularly layers French pop songs or classical music over slow-motion shots to little or no meaningful effect), but there's enough of the talented filmmaker's potential peeking through the pretension to make the experience entertaining and original.
½ February 2, 2015
It is exquisitely written and has visual splendor, but it's slow motion scenes are often annoying.
½ February 1, 2015
The sophomore film from French-Canadian director Xavier Dolan (who was barely 20 when he started shooting it) has the look and feel of a college art film, albeit with a bit more polish. The film employs interesting use of lighting, and it's love-triangle concept is certainly intriguing. The film can often be hard to follow as it's art-film flourishes become more complacent and less manageable, but it's still quite a good early film from a young and promising film maker.
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