The Beat That My Heart Skipped Review

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A minor criminal aspires to be a concert pianist, but his surroundings, violent tendencies and issues with his father continually obstruct him.


James Toback’s 1978 noir Fingers, starring Harvey Keitel as a petty hood with dreams of being a concert pianist, seems an odd choice for a French remake. However, Jacques Audiard imbues it with a tangible sense of the sinister seediness that links the Parisian underworld with its business community.

In Romain Duris he also creates a credibly fallible anti-hero. As he struggles to conquer the violent venality inherited from father by pursuing his dead mother’s musical ambitions, he is sidetracked by his ruinous loyalty to Dad and an affair with his buddy’s wife. Duris’ psychological odyssey, as he practices with Vietnamese tutor Linh Dan Pham, is deftly sketched, making his inevitable resort to brutality shockingly powerful.

Simmering study of a petty hood-cum-wannabe pianist succumbing to his innate violent side - but there might be a touch too much ivory tinkling for some.