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Really fun to watch and very relatable specially for LGBTQ+ youth.
(3.5/4 Stars) I'm not going to lie, this is one of my favorites. For various reasons, this film strongly resonates with me. I enjoy the looks of the characters, the way they talk, their mannerisms, and especially their style. There's this millennial liveliness that they seem to project that I personally love to get absorbed into.
I discovered Dolan through the attention he received at Cannes with his film Mommy. After seeing Mommy, I sought out his other works which of course eventually led me to this. For me, I think this film centers around young love and how it can sometimes simply be ridiculous. Sometimes, the reasoning for their attraction towards others is less about legitimate love and more about lust. That's a folly for many.
There's much slow motion in this as well. I could see some complaining about it, but I find it appealing to the eye. Witnessing the film's slow motion reminds me of the feeling of finding a beautiful person in a crowded room. When that happens in real life, time can seem to slow down as you become entranced by the person you see. It's like that feeling. In those slow moments, the movie is taking time to focus on those flourishing emotions felt by the characters. In fact, that's what I found the film as a whole to focus around. The feelings of love, or at least what the characters think is love.
I could also see some people complaining about the story being overdone and unoriginal, but I think Dolan breathes new life into it. He is doing what many other talented filmmakers are doing, especially in this current era of film. He's breathing new life into tired formulas. The story sounds simple, but he focuses on the characters and the feelings/emotions they go through which can be great if handled well.
I find it easy to get absorbed into the three leads and to be interested in their lives. They have this exuberant style that is somewhat alluring and even hypnotic in a way.
The only complaint I can think of at the moment would be some of the camerawork in a few scenes and I think some extra tweaks with the editing would helped some moments, but these are small quibbles in an overall attractive-looking film. I recommend this, especially to hipsters.
Xavier's second feature after his great debut "I Killed My Mother". This film is losely based on a Woody Allen film, at least so I have read, but I have not seen it. It's about three friends. Well, two friends, Marie and Francis that meet a guy called Nicolas. They are both madly in love with him, but afraid to ask him about his sexual oriantation. It's not really a theme here, the question of asking him, but the pain of being in a love triangle, being anoyd when your friend is getting attention in stead of you is a certain thing here.
Not his best film, probably the opposite for me. It's lovely shot, acted out and I like the theme. The thing it's that it's not moving smooth enough, the development is not good enough. No true climaxes or moments, but that constant vibe of a mild uncernity about somones feelings for you is both unsettling and relatable for most of us.
6 our of 10 posters.
At his young age, Xavier Dolan works a very innovating bunch of new ideas, pointing into a project which is close to be considered as majestic. It is an impressive film which contains excellent musical pieces, clean and stunning interpretations that can be lived with closeness, convincing us that in love there are battles in which human minds soar towards the incomprehensible. Consistent, full of power and visual resources as few have managed, Dolan conveys and stars in a work full of passion, madness and obsession that through a surreal style immerses us into a world that can not be limited as the love triangle that is shown, but transcends to something more visceral and strange where a fierce voice of desire and pain is transmitted to the audience, which fits perfectly with love relationships of the 21st century. 92/100
"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)
Some kind of confusing and disturbing but captures your attention
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.
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.
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.