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A movie directed by Xavier Dolan

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Just my imagination

  • Sep 25, 2010
Written and Directed by Xavier Dolan
Starring Xavier Dolan, Monia Chokri and Niels Schneider

Ah, l’amour.  They say the French know it best and, even though Quebecois is not quite the same as French, novice Quebec-born filmmaker, Xavier Dolan, seems to have a pretty strong handle on the whole thing.  Not only does he know love and the many places it takes us in our heads but he also knows a thing or two about how to put together one fine film on the subject.  His second feature, HEARTBEATS, confirms his position as one of Canada’s most promising filmmakers.

At 22 years old, I knew nothing about love.  Dolan at 22 however, knows that love is what we make of it.  Repeating the impressive triple threat he blasted on to the Canadian film scene with in his first feature, “J’ai tue me mere (I Killed my Mother)”, Dolan also writes and stars in this part farce, part exploration of love’s depths.  He plays Francis, a young, gay Montrealer who shares a friendship based mostly on cynicism with Marie (Monia Chokri), an impeccably dressed neurotic.  One fated evening, they both meet Nicolas (Niels Schneider).  He is handsome and captivating and it isn’t long before they are both trying to get him to notice them.  As I’m sure you can imagine, this takes a toll on their friendship.

HEARTBEATS is enchanting.  Dolan channels the French “New Wave” and taps into his admiration for Wong Kar-Wai, creating a picture that is sumptuous and romantic but yet still realistic.  His understanding of each step love takes upon its journey is uncanny, making it easy to remember exactly what its like to want a love that you can’t have and just how far people will go to realize it won’t work.  Sometimes love may feel right in our hearts but Dolan reminds us that it might also just also be entirely imagined.

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September 27, 2010
Very interesting, like coldsteel I haven't heard of this one...I'll keep it in mind.
September 29, 2010
I'm glad to hear that. If you get a chance to see his first film, I KILLED MY MOTHER, do so as well. I'm happy to get people to discover this great new talent.
September 26, 2010
Thanks for sharing. I hadn't heard of this film previously.
September 26, 2010
My pleasure ... Dolan is truly a director to watch for. He has such a strong voice for someone so young.
More Heartbeats reviews
Quick Tip by . October 08, 2010
In case you wanted to know a little bit more about Xavier Dolan, the writer/director/star of LES AMOURS IMAGINAIRES (HEARTBEATS), here is the Black Sheep interview ... http://blacksheepreviews.blogspot.com/2010/1...views-xavier-dolan.html
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #24
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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About this movie


Early accolades can be a curse to an artist’s career. Directors whose first features meet with critical hallelujahs are often harshly scrutinized for subsequent efforts. Few debuts have enjoyed the delirious reception afforded Xavier Dolan’s J’ai tué ma mère. Dolans second film, Les amours imaginaires, one of the most eagerly anticipated films to emerge from Quebec in some time, is an exhilarating exception to the sophomore jinx. It’s as good as its predecessor – maybe even better – and best of all it is radically different.

Les amours imaginaires centres on two fast friends: Marie (Monia Chokri), a supremely confident and sexually aggressive combination of Bette Davis, Carmen Maura and Anna Karina; and the cherubic, acerbic Francis (Dolan), who has managed to manoeuvre through multiple affairs without ever getting too attached. Like the aristocrats of Dangerous Liaisons transported to contemporary Montreal, Marie and Francis spend their time being fabulous, condescending and bitchy.

Then, at a dinner with friends, they spot curly-haired Nico (Niels Schneider), whom they simultaneously dismiss and obsess over. Soon, Francis sets up a meeting and the three become inseparable. But the more intimate they get, the more remote and unattainable Nico becomes, sending Francis and Marie’s comic obsession into overdrive.

Part gleaming farce, part tough-minded exploration of the inherent insanity of love and ...

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Director: Xavier Dolan
Genre: Drama, Romance
Release Date: 25 February 2011 (USA)
Screen Writer: Xavier Dolan
Runtime: France: 95 min(Cannes Film Festival)
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"Just my imagination"
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