TIFF 2014: Heartbeat Review

Heartbeat

Contemporary World Cinema

Insufferably precious, drowning in quirk, and filled with an astounding amount of thematic mixed messages, Andrea Dorfman’s tale of a wannabe musician overcoming her fears is a painful thing to sit through.

Justine (Tanya Davis) is in so much of a depressed rut that she’s essentially becoming her deceased grandmother, right down to living in her house and wearing hopelessly outdated clothes and undergarments. She’s stuck in a copywriting job she hates, she still hooks up with an ex who wanted out a long time ago, her friends are having kids which means she can’t relate to them, and she wants to be a singer-songwriter, but she can’t perform in front of one person, let alone a crowd. Her world expands when she meets Ruby (Stephanie Clattenburg), a lesbian musical chick that likes to play the drums in the window of a local music shop, and the duo develop a friendship and attachment.

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Heartbeat

This is the hell that Miranda July hath wrought, but with only about a quarter of the talent and perceptiveness. Poorly shot, edited like a series of music videos that have a thin plot hanging it together, and leaving a talented cast adrift with dialogue that might as well be replaced by the cutest of birds warbling, Dorfman is actively trying to make the most gosh darn precious look at kooky liberal idealism ever committed to film, and the fact that its sickly sweetness revolves around a reprehensibly manipulative, dreadfully selfish, and thoroughly unlikable and weak willed heroine almost made me turn into a conservative. I almost can’t believe this was made by a female filmmaker.

Then I left the theatre and breathed a deep sigh of relief when I remembered that I never have to sit through this again. (Andrew Parker)

Screens

Saturday, September 6th, 7:15pm, Scotiabank 14

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Monday, September 8th, 4:00pm, Scotiabank 8


SPiN TORONTO - A Ping Pong Social Club

Thanks to SPiN TORONTO for sponsoring our TIFF 2014 coverage.

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