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The Beat That My Heart Skipped

39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Romain Duris, Niels Arestrup. A haunting, psychological drama in which a man struggles to choose between his life as a sleazy real estate con man like his father or his desire to become a classical pianist in honor of his late virtuoso mother. 2005/color/107 min/NR.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Romain Duris, Aure Atika, Emmanuelle Devos, Niels Arestrup, Jonathan Zaccaï
  • Directors: Jacques Audiard
  • Writers: Jacques Audiard, James Toback, Tonino Benacquista
  • Producers: Pascal Caucheteux
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: French, Russian, Vietnamese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Wellspring
  • DVD Release Date: November 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000B9EYFW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,517 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Beat That My Heart Skipped" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By _tMF on June 16, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There is a distinct quality and style that most French films have, among them, the subtle music that plays on the background, or the use of silence to heighten emotions. But this movie made use of a much `louder' more modern music to really bring in the characters. Directed by Jacques Audiard, The Beat that my Heart Skipped is actually a remake based on the 1978 American movie Fingers. But unlike some remakes, it surpasses the original, not only because of the vision of its Director but for the powerful portrayal of its lead actor, Romain Duris.

In one of the most memorable performances of any actor of his generation, Duris transformed himself into Tom, a hoodlum who terrorizes poor urban dwellers in order to buy cheap properties and sell them for profits. There is a tradition to his work as he inherits the same `vocation' from his father. There is, however, a certain side to Tom, an artistic side, the one talent he inherited from his dead mother- the love of classical music and an ability (a remarkable talent, actually) to play the piano. As he struggles to maintain some semblance of `humanity' in his arresting and despicable character, he has to make a choice whether to remain loyal to his father and continue in their work or pursue a career in music, perhaps the only way out for him and a chance to redeem himself.

"De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté", is more than just a film about self-discovery and of love, it is a powerful testament to the ability of an individual to change.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By MICHAEL ACUNA on October 17, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Tom (Romain Duris) works as a sort of real-estate thug. He and his partners trash buildings in low-income areas, buying them low and selling them high for a quick profit. It's a grotesque scam that involves letting sewer rats loose in target buildings so as to scare out squatters and sometimes paying tenants.

Tom's work is morally corrupt and physically debilitating and Tom manifests this corruptness in the very core of his being: he's depressed, violent, short-tempered and vehemently without empathy and humanity. He is only seemingly nice when a good-looking woman is around and that is only so he can bed her.

Then one day he spots his dead mother's music manager who promises him an audition which draws Tom back into his musical training: something he deserted many years before. Tom throws himself into classical music at first as a challenge to recapture his talent. But what he doesn't initially realize is that music will ultimately prove to be his salvation...turning him from the darkness to the light.

Music has always been something that Tom has associated with what little good he has experienced in his life. To him, music recalls his loving mother. To him, music has always meant love. And he grasps at a life in music like a drowning man grasps at a life preserver. He is as neurotic at reclaiming his musical talent as he is at stealing, drinking, drugging and cheating. He has a goal for the first time in many, many years.

Romain Duris ("The Spanish Apartment," "Le Divorce") heretofore has always been the good guy: young and sweet yet in both of these roles he was always a little devious, a little devilish. Here, Duris is all about Cuban-heeled shoes, black leather jacket, buffed out body, dyed black hair and unflinching scowl.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Collins on July 30, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an exceptional film, a wonderful tale of violence and spiritual redemption. The actions lead to a tension building climax. Romain Duris was superb by any measure in the lead role of Tom. Whereas the other reviewers do a super job of telling the storyline and comment upon the excellent cinematography and acting, I would like to point out that this is a wonderful retelling of the heroic myth of the Holy Grail and the Fisher King. I will give a Jungian interpretation of the film below:

Tom, the real-estate thug, is a modern Parsifal. Caught in a world of violence, he has tasted the Holy Grail, the spiritual window opened by classical piano, through his deceased mother. But he now lives in the world of the wounded Fisher King, his mobster father, ill and aging quickly. The world of the Fisher King is always in disarray, which is certainly the case of the world of Paris' low rent dumps and greedy slum lords. Tom and his father's world consist of making and breaking business deals, using insider information for real estate speculation, and driving squatters from deserted buildings. But in the search for the Holy Grail, Parsifal must integrate the feminine into his soul by laying beside his Anima, neither seducing her nor being seduced by her. Tom falls sexually twice in the film, seducing his business partner's wife and then a Russian mobster's girlfriend. But, the Chinese piano tutor becomes the Anima that is not seduced and does not seduce until his personality is integrated. He remains chaste with her until his spiritual task is completed. The death of his father makes Tom the Fisher King and thus the corruption can end if Tom is able to fully integrate the feminine into his soul.
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