Monday, September 04, 2006

The Beat That My Heart Skipped by Jacques Audiard

I saw Audiard's thriller "Read My Lips" starting Vincent Cassel a few years ago. I remember Paramount bought the remake rights, not sure what happened to it.

I had read great reviews about "The Beat" so I rented it this weekend. It's a remake of Toback's "Fingers." It took a minute to get into the movie but I loved it. Romain Duris, who was in "L'Auberge Espagnole" plays the son of a washed-up, wealthy, "player" who made his money in real estate. He loves but also resents his father. His mom died young and was a well respected concert pianist. One day he bumps into her former manager. The manager remembers him as being very talented and asks him to audition.

So we have a thug (it's the only way to describe him and his co-workers) trying to decide between following in his father's or mother's footsteps. He might be a little too rusty to play at the level he used to. He finds a tutor. She's Chinese and speaks no French and maybe two words in English.

At times the movie is pretty violent. I have a hard time watching people getting the crap kicked out of them. The music is beautiful Bach, Brahms, french hip-hop and dance music. Romain is an incredible actor. I could watch him for days. I thought this film was really moving. Probably one of the best films I've seen this year.

Interesting article in yesterday's New York Times Sunday magazine about the lack of interesting, complex, leading roles for actresses. The cult of celebrity, the pressure to make movies that will appeal to the widest audiences and the ageism and sexism of Hollywood are making it difficult for any actress who would like to carve out a career similar to Meryl Streep's. Those days are over. It's too bad.

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