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aka - Les Amours Imaginaires
Canada 2010
Directed by
Xavier Dolan
97 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars


Following on from his 2009 hit debut, I Killed My Mother, Xavier Dolan is back as writer/director/star of Les Amours Imaginaires, which rather disappointingly has been re-titled for its English release as Heartbeats. It is the story of best friends Francis (Dolan) and  Marie (Monia Chokri) who, despite their pretensions to indifference are both smitten with a young Adonis, Nico (Niels Schneider), who in turns basks in their attention. 

As with his previous film, Dolan depict his milieu with charming lightness and empathetic verisimilitude. He breaks up his main narrative with some Woody Allenesque faux-documentary interviews featuring a selection of young broken-hearted lovers. It is a device which I found unnecessary as he is successful enough in capturing the universality of love’s misery with his characters who are depicted with the same kind of acute observational skill he demonstrated in his earlier film.

Dolan's visual flair is even more apparent in this film and this balances out the somewhat more restricted purview of his youthful subjects. Also like that film, Heartbeats will speak most to a similar age group as its subjects but it is nevertheless an effective piece of story-telling, very much in the early nouvelle vague style of intimately-scaled cinema.

DVD Extras: Deleted Scenes, Outtakes; Theatrical Trailer.

Available from: Madman




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