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The Good Heart


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Brian Cox stars as Jacques, the curmudgeonly owner of a gritty New York dive bar that serves
as home to a motley assortment of professional drinkers. Jacques is determinedly drinking and
smoking himself to death when he meets Lucas (Paul Dano), a homeless young man who has
already given up on life. Determined to keep his legacy alive, Jacques deems Lucas is a fitting heir
and takes him under his wing, schooling him in the male-centric laws of his alcoholic clubhouse: no
new customers, no fraternizing with customers, and absolutely no women. Lucas is a quick study,
but their friendship is put to the test when the distraught and beautiful April (Isild Le Besco) shows
up at the bar seeking shelter, and Lucas insists they help her out.

Amazon.com

Few actors project a subterranean rage like Brian Cox (recognizable from movies as varied as Adaptation, Manhunter, and X-Men 2). The Good Heart is a superb showcase for this underrated actor: as Jacques, the owner of a cloistered bar in New York City, Cox unleashes arias of cantankerous bile on both his customers and Lucas (Paul Dano, There Will Be Blood), the young homeless man that Jacques has chosen as his protégé. Lucas's sweet nature both touches and infuriates Jacques, but their relationship slowly builds in trust--until, like so many male connections, it's threatened by a woman (French actress Isild Le Besco). Though the plot of The Good Heart doesn't hold any surprises (and the ending is a little forced), the textures of this movie are incredible. Jacques's dank, smoke-stained bar--filled with a collection of dank, smoke-stained regulars--is filmed in moldering yet lush greens and blues, as if the bar (and the world) were deep underwater. Cox and Dano worked together before in the excellent L.I.E.; their friendship, shot through with father-son yearnings, is wonderfully affecting. Though Dano and Le Besco are both excellent, Cox seizes his role and turns it into the movie's driving force. It's an outstanding performance, not to be missed. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Dano, Brian Cox
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Magnolia
  • DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003L20IN8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,279 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Good Heart" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Barbara L. Elzohairy on March 10, 2011
Format: DVD
Empty hearts, lonely hearts, angry hearts all come together in a dank, seedy bar located in the dark canyon of lower new york city. Not a place to find love, but a place to be together for the exclusive club of black, blue collar, and superior intellectuals, a motley and fascinating crew. But it's owner, in spite of all the raw rage is both enterprising and able to love. Not knowing anything about this film before viewing it, I found myself riveted by the truth of what these actors portray, the human heart cloaked in darkness, seeking and not seeking the light, but finding it anyway. At last an American film of substance and gritty grace. I loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 22, 2013
Format: DVD
The Good Heart (Dagur Kári, 2009)

Dear...anyone who has ever attempted to make either a Lifetime or a Hallmark Original Movie: I would like you all to sit down in a theater somewhere (rent one, you can afford it) and watch Dagur Kári's 2009 movie The Good Heart. While you are doing so, don't have them dim the house lights, because you should be taking notes the entire damn time. This is how you make an inspirational, heartwarming, emotionally manipulative movie. This is everything you and your ilk have been trying to do for twenty years and, with the sole exception (in my experience) of one movie by a guy who actually started off directing direct-to-video softcore flicks, failed miserably to do every single time.

The last time Paul Dano and Brian Cox got together in front of a camera, the result was Michael Cuesta's phenomenal 2001 film L. I. E., which was phenomenal in no small part because of the chemistry between the two actors. Kári (Nói the Albino) reunited the two of them eight years later, after Ryan Gosling and Tom Waits dropped out of the project. It was a very good decision. Dano plays Lucas, a young homeless man with a penchant for failed suicide attempts. Cox is Jacques, a bar owner with a similar penchant, but for heart attacks. Synchronicity lands both of them in the hospital at the same time, and despite himself, Jacques takes a shine to the boy, taking him in and training him as a bartender. The two couldn't be more different, with Jacques' gruff cynicism playing against Lucas' wide-eyed wonder. Everything is going along swimmingly until a young, lost ex-stewardess named April (Girls Can't Swim's Isild Le Besco) shows up one rainy night. Lucas is instantly enchanted; Jacques is not a big fan of women in bars. Cue tension.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Austin Ng Tse Ann on September 26, 2010
Format: DVD
I didn't know what to make of the film when i started watching it. The start was a tad slow but still very watchable because of the great performance and chemistry between the cox and dano.

Although admittedly the ending was a little predictable, the great musical score, the look and feel of the film and its well paced character development more than covers for it.

Go watch it... if you are a fan of the drama genre, you'll like this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dori Hoffmann on May 29, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
A set in his ways bar owner takes a young man to train as hes replacement. Instead the young man changes him. The word "heart" has a double meaning.. I love the movie. The language was a little offensive
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jeffbrowne on March 23, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
A beautiful human interest story. It takes all kinds to make this world what it is. And we are ALL from different walks of life. I thought this movie was done so well, in all aspects. Thank you for such a gift, to the writers, producers, actors, and production company. We need more movies like this today, and less of the violent action packed stupidity that hits the screen too often. I was never bored, and I just wanted more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bajatrvlr on September 14, 2012
Format: DVD
I watched this film on a whim and I have to say I loved it. I wasn't expecting the ending but it worked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rafael Jimenez on October 18, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
A very carefully crafted film where life and death, love and hate are in constant interaction. Such a relief from stupid movies we have all around.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By REV. PAUL A. CANNARIATO on March 19, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A WONDERFUL FILM TOUCHES THE HEART A MUST WATCH FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HUMAN INTEREST FILMS ABOUT PEOPLE AND RELATIONSHIPS
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