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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not one to watch with your parents!
By the time Moodysson made this movie in 2004 he had already achieved a huge degree of commercial success with "Together" (5*) and "Lilya 4-Ever" (5*). One of the privileges of "making it" is that it allowed him the freedom to do whatever he wanted afterwards. Any project he chose to do next would receive not only all the funding it needed but also a wide audience of...
Published on 18 Nov 2008 by A. D. K. Miller

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A pointless film
Films are supposed to be entertaining this one is far from it.How anyone could find anything good to say about it is beyond me.Perhaps because it is so different you feel there must be something of note that could be interesting, I failed to find it! The story (?) is grim to the point of being funny, it was awful.
Published on 21 Jun 2012 by ken


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not one to watch with your parents!, 18 Nov 2008
By 
A. D. K. Miller "c500" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Hole In My Heart [DVD] (DVD)
By the time Moodysson made this movie in 2004 he had already achieved a huge degree of commercial success with "Together" (5*) and "Lilya 4-Ever" (5*). One of the privileges of "making it" is that it allowed him the freedom to do whatever he wanted afterwards. Any project he chose to do next would receive not only all the funding it needed but also a wide audience of people who had enjoyed any of his earlier masterpieces. Fans of his earlier films, including even the brutally hard-hitting Lilya 4-Ever were in for a real shock!

The entire cast consists of four characters and the story (if you can call it that) takes place almost entirely within the confines of a small flat that they share in a Stockholm suburb. Richard and his son Eric do not get on, and the latter spends all his time in his room listening to thrash metal on his headphones with the blinds closed, while his dad and his friend make porn videos starring themselves and a pretty young woman who believes that this kind of work will one day lead to better things.

The haphazard editing which includes some extremely unpleasant random close-ups of human bodies under surgical operation and several interludes of random gore (for no reason that is related to the main story) creates an unsettling feeling of carnage and chaos throughout . As the film goes on the movies the characters make get more and more extreme and it soon becomes clear that Richard has no intention of sending them off to anyone or even watching them. He is just doing it for kicks. Meanwhile, the only character we sympathize with, Eric, continues to stew in his room hating what is going on outside.

None of the characters appear to have a life outside this sordid little flat. Both men appear to have serious issues about their childhoods and their parents but there is not sufficient character development to say with any certainty what we are supposed to think about that. In a way, that is precisely the point. The movie does not tell you what to think, does not give you anything in the way of a serious story to keep you interested, and does not conform to any conventions of structure or style.

There is no question that most (not merely some) viewers will find A Hole In My Heart offensive. Some scenes are gruesome, and few are entertaining. But somehow it keeps your attention all the way through and it is utterly convincing, even when it is banal and nonsensical. Completely devoid of any answers, it is not even clear what the questions are. At one point, Moodysson appears to be asking whether there is any ethical difference between hardcore porn and a movie about hardcore porn. Later he seems to be questioning whether a history as a victim of abuse inevitably leads to abusive tendencies. It is impossible to know what questions - if any - he is trying to raise. Does he deliberately sidestep the violent climax we are dreading throughout the film? And if so is he trying to make us feel guilty for being disappointed? Who knows...

Maybe he just wants to show viewers lives that they would never ordinarily witness (hopefully) and thereby make viewers feel something they would never usually feel.

Usually I hate it when artists or works of art are described as "important" but in this case it is totally appropriate. If it weren't for Moodysson and others like him who push the boundaries of acceptability and challenge our pre-conceptions of what is considered to be art, then art would cease to evolve. A Hole In My Heart is not his best film, but comparison with his other works - or indeed, any other movie - is futile. I am pretty sure that he does not care whether anyone enjoys watching his characters meander listlessly through their debauchery.

Give a man like Lukas Moodysson free rein (reign?) and this is what you get. It is a movie that only he could possibly have made; a weird, almost indecipherable assault on the senses the like of which you have definitely never seen before.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A pointless film, 21 Jun 2012
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This review is from: A Hole In My Heart [DVD] (DVD)
Films are supposed to be entertaining this one is far from it.How anyone could find anything good to say about it is beyond me.Perhaps because it is so different you feel there must be something of note that could be interesting, I failed to find it! The story (?) is grim to the point of being funny, it was awful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me !, 23 Mar 2014
Perhaps a difficult subject to form the basis of an interesting film.
It seemed so improbable, that there seemed to be too much of a challenge to convert the storyline into an interesting film.
Might appeal to a half-drunk male audience if they can avoid sleeping whilst watching.
Terrible !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as it thinks it is, 16 July 2012
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This review is from: A Hole In My Heart [DVD] (DVD)
An interesting idea about shooting home made porn and being trapped and the shallow sordid lives and cut to toys having sex and violence and gore and then more gratuitous sex and then some more unpleasant ..... on and on and on this film went .... cant really remember what happened in the end ..... it all became zzzzzz ;;;;;; would have worked as a 15 minute short film .
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing follow up to Lilya 4 Ever, 31 Mar 2006
By 
This review is from: A Hole In My Heart [DVD] (DVD)
For those, who, like me, were greatly impressed with Lilya 4 Ever, and were expecting an equally great follow up, then prepare for disappointment. I admire Moodyson for not taking the easy option, but my problem with this film is it becomes a symptom of the emptiness and vacuousness it portrays.
Moodyson's characters portray desperation brilliantly, however in Lilya 4 Ever the narrative was strong as was the tension as we followed Lilya's constant misfortune culminating in her imprisonment at the hands of child trafficers. In A Hole In My Heart, narrative is dispensed with, and an improvised tableau occurs in the cramped setting of a tiny flat. It's certainly a bleak depiction of 3 characters engaged in the making of a pornographic film, as the fourth character, the teenage son Erik becomes the moral conscience, his humanity acting as moral opposition to the immorality of the other three, whose behaviour threatens to dissolve into murderous anarchy. The claustrophobia is emphasised by the frequent close up shots of the protagonists, and the fast cutting which occurs throughout the film. It's difficult to follow or get engaged with a character as the camera pans quickly around the room from one person to the other. It's not pretty camerawork and is even more excessive than the Dogme style pioneered by Lars Von Trier. All this contributes to the alienation of the characters from the audience, and this distance certainly arouses disgust at the characters antics. Of course, this is the point of the film, as Moodyson chooses to attack the exploitation of pornography and reality tv. It's rather tragic when Tess, in a quiet moment, breaks down and confesses she's been turned down by the Big Brother television show.
Aspirations have been reduced to becoming bit part players in increasingly worthless television shows and high production values have been eroded. Moodyson depicts this situation brilliantly, as his film style banishes the sweeping arthouse long take for the MTV style fast cutting of cheap television.
A Hole In My Heart makes it's point well but it does become a symptom rather than a cure to the malaise it portrays. It's far too empty as a film to sustain interest and I feel Takeshi Miike's Visitor Q sent up the "reality" format much better. Perhaps Moodyson's duplication of the format results in the film's failure, and a critical voice was required. Erik, the teenage son, is too weak and too wrapped up in his new age philosophy to intervene in the chaos occuring around him. Ultimately a failure, and perhaps too messy a film to get its message across, unlike Lilya 4 Ever which was thought provoking and challenged us as viewers to confront an injustice. Unfortunately A Hole In My Heart offers no such challenge.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful film, hugely original and inventive., 6 Jan 2006
This review is from: A Hole In My Heart [DVD] (DVD)
This is certainly a very different type of film to the usual hollywood, mass-media nonsense. I think this is a deliberate ploy by the independent-minded genius that is Moodysson. I took this film to be a vehicle for venting his rage at all the (aforementioned) rubbish spewed out in the name of consumerism. Perhaps it's because i sympathise with his sensibilities there, that i loved the film, but perhaps there's more to it.
It's expertly shot, visually very exciting, with fascinating use of different media, and has some magnificently portrayed characters - the porn "director's" adolescent son, for example, is a massively empathetic character who it's very easy to identify with, i would have thought.
To summarise - the film is trying to make a point, and does so through the 'choppy' and direct style (we are the MTV generation, after all) as much as the content and irony deployed. Great film, pushing the boundaries, but not one for your gran. Give it a try if feeling adventurous, or just if you're not closed-minded and very set in your ways.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I respecfully disagree, 8 Dec 2005
By 
Mr. J. E. Taylor "jevontaylor" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Hole In My Heart [DVD] (DVD)
It is true that this movie is difficult to watch. Not to say that is boring. However, if watched with empathy and the right sensibilities it is very rewarding. In this film he shows the making of amateur porn to be the repeated rape of a young woman. His aesthetic, complete with jarring sounds of feed back, etc., amounts to a rape of the senses. Perfectly complimenting the theme of the movie, which is in itself a rare acheivement in cinema. Off the top of my head i can only think of Andrei Tarkovsky and Stan Brakhage who have consistantly acheived such a feat.
One more complement that should be paid to Moodysson for the completion of this accomplished film is that he also manages to elicit sympathy for even the films most reprehensible characters.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where it stops and where it begins, 14 Oct 2005
By 
Mr. S. J. Robson "sleepytimegorillaboy" (Truro, Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Hole In My Heart [DVD] (DVD)
I've seen all of Lucas Moodysson's films and in my opinion this is in no way his best. But it's certainly not his worst either.

With each film Mr Moodysson seems to shed another skin. He began by looking at innocence of love with "Show Me Love" (I highly recommend) then moved on to social free spirited love with "Together". Then he shocked all his fans with "Lilya 4 Ever" which (in a way) takes the social aspect to the extreme but still holds on to the dream of innocence in love.

Then came "A Hole In My Heart" ...

Based on 4 characters:

A young depressed boy, who contemplates suicide and spends most of his time in his bedroom.

His father, who seems to have also lost his dignity though some cause.

A guy who is always there! And a bit of a hot-head with a massive sensitive side.

And a young girl, whom is completely lost.

Now, take these characters and throw a plot of porn movie making in there and what do you have? .. the makings of a highly original and in places quite distrubing film (I won't say anymore or I could destroy it for you!)

But it's not as simple as that because Lukas Moodysson in behind the camera. It is filmed in a wonderfully unique fashion that allows the viewer to become intimate with the situations. His style for me is very hard to discribe ... it's almost amateur but in an extremely planned way (and I mean that as a credit not as an insult).

This was the first film of his that I saw and it sparked me to get them all. It is, in my opinion, not the best place to start. I would personally suggest starting at "Show Me Love" or "Lilya 4 Ever". But if you are familiar with these films then I can strongly recommend this film as Mr Moodysson has another surprise for you.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Should be banned (not in a good way!), 17 April 2014
I've sat through the uncut version of 'a serbian film' (I don't recommend you watch that either) and both of the human centipede films so I don't think I can be described as squeamish but this film lacked a story as well as being completely sick. It was basically disgusting for the sake of being disgusting. It's also possibly the most depressing film I have ever seen which is strange because there wasn't a single casualty. I strongly suggest that in particular, people with ocd cleaning/hygiene tendencies should avoid this film due to very painful-to-watch food fighting scenes.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 4 Stars for the first hour, 2 stars for the last half an hour., 4 Aug 2009
This review is from: A Hole In My Heart [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this film in 2 parts the first hour late at night then the last half an hour the next morning.

I was impressed with most of the first part, it was very different (to say the least!!!) and a bit inventive here and there.

The last half hour though was a real mish-mash as the director/writer appeared to be running out of ideas and fast. If this had been an hour and 15/20 minutes this would have got 4 stars from me.

It becomes clear that the director sets out to disgust at least some of the audience by showing a man being (apparently) sick into the open mouth of the only female in the cast and the said male urinating into a glass and yes you do literally see all of this happen.

Showing pictures of various operations being performed, lots of full nudity, food being stuffed into the womans mouth until it was overflowing, a man rinsing his mouth out with washing up liquid, whilst these things (with the exception of the nudity) cover a very small amount of time some of these at least are pretty disgusting things to watch and most of this should never have been included in the first place.

Due to the ideas running dry the director has come up with the idea to shock and disgust the viewer/s, as opposed to making a good a real film.

7/10 for the first hour, 3/10 for the last half hour, just scrapes 6 out of ten for me.
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A Hole In My Heart [DVD]
A Hole In My Heart [DVD] by Lukas Moodysson (DVD - 2005)
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