Reviewed by yasminomar
on 06/08/2015 12:58

This is the film that brought Québécois genius Xavier Dolan to my attention. Heartbeats is the tender, heart wrenching and – above all – insightful exploration of unrequited love, a theme that cinema all too often neglects. With a dash of dark humour, it charters the peaks and troughs of Marie and Francis’ friendship in the wake of the arrival of handsome stranger Nico. It isn’t long before this sensitive soul (and incurable tease) becomes the focal point of their infatuation, feeding their obsession with unfathomable flirtatious signals. Heartbeats is poetically shot, boasting an exuberant mise-en-scène and a poppy soundtrack. But, most importantly, it foregrounds character development. Fantasy sequences (such as Francis imagining marshmallows tumbling down Nico’s Adonic frame) provide a hauntingly effective way to allow the viewer to access the characters’ psyches. Besides, any film that starts with a Musset quote is a winner in my book.