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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 February 2012
I love the pace and styling of this modernisation (perhaps) of Jules et Jim. I love the hyper-sensed colouration and classy music-video slo- mo's, with the characters holding their lofty pretty heads even higher, set to a beautifully hip soundtrack.

Moni Chakri, the elegant brunette, who loves Audrey Hepburn is Dolan's character's best friend; hanging out and sharing moments, rather like Will and Grace. When cherubic, blonde curly haired Neils Schreider lands in their pretty laps, all sorts of questions about sexuality are thrown open and explored. It's all done with dignity and poise; no-one screams or hits anyone.

22 year old director Xavier Dolan, (who also stars) for this French- Canadian feature, has got his designer eyes set firmly on indulgence and unpretentious superficiality. Sexual rather than explicit, it is never rude and no one farts, pukes or is seen going to the toilet. These people are to be seen rather than to 'be'; their fairly shallow lives are ones filled with fairly petty annoyances, rather than life and death scenarios.

Sadly, the viewer doesn't really get to like them enough to care too much, though maybe surprisingly, they weren't as precocious or annoying as they could have been. I adopted an approach of just letting the rich visuals and sensual music flow gently over me, rather like chocolate sauce slowly rolling in folds down a steamed pudding.

Nothing knew is said either and perhaps this helps; anything jarring or monumentally profound would be just too much and spoil the pleasure. Not that it's quaint or twee, mind you but this is definitely bespoke designer fitted kitchen drama rather anything to do with an actual sink.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 5 October 2011
This is a film from French Canadian Xavier Dolan, he writes, directs and stars as Francis. He is a young guy who has a friend Marie (Monia Chokri) and they both meet a newbie to the Montreal social scene in the shape of the Adonis like Nicolas (Niels Schneider). Francis is gay and Marie is gagging for it, so they both start acting like lovelorn puppies and show as much maturity as a bootleg whisky.

The effect he has on them is barely suppressed as they all pretend to get on and care for each other whilst in actual fact Marie is in open hostilities with Francis to garner young Nikki's affections. He seems oblivious but also a tad over tactile, which of course only adds fuel to the fire burning in everyone else's loins.

There are a lot of monologues to camera almost in an interview stylie, and the camera pans in and out like an amateur news man. This is obviously done for stylistic reasons, but some may find it acts more like an alienation device and tends to slow down the narrative.

Everyone smokes, which is great, all the acting is well above average and it oozes style. With lots of references and homage's to Katherine Hepburn and angora jumpers for good measure. The musical score is rather good too and the whole film has a sensuality that I normally associate with Italian cinema. As things come to a head (forgive the pun) the bitchiness is ramped up to levels where even high school girls would find challenging. You may also pick up some tips on the proper sensual way of eating a marshmallow too - if that is your thing.

This is a sensual, languorous tale of infatuation, jealousy and redemption and I really liked it. There are not too many bedroom scenes in case you were wondering, so for that sort of gentleman's diversion, you would be better off looking else where. It is 105 minutes and could probably have been shorter but still it is very recommended and I think Mousier Dolan has shown he has a lot to offer.
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on 3 February 2012
This Director and actor continues to give us what we want, films based on acting, relationships and dialogue. A story is told, we are taken on a journey, fall in love with a character, unconventional as they are, and feel we have watched something a little bit special.
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on 2 November 2011
A Very well acted, very believable story. Perfect casting, script, locations and great use of the musical score make up for the occasion over-ise of slow motion and other similar techniques - but this really is nit-picking. Xavier Dolan is certainly one to watch - both as an actor and a director.
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on 29 June 2015
Since I have now become such a avid fan of Xavier Dolans work I have made it my mission too watch all of his films and give a fair and honest opinion on each of his films from my own perspective.
HEARTBEATS! This was the second of his films that he had made after the Incredible " I killed my Mother" for me it was quite entertaining and there was some delightful parts in this movie which was funny. Two friends Xavier Dolan ( Frankie) and Monia Chokri ( Marie) competing for the affections of Niels Schneider ( Nicolas) who I thought sometimes gave off mixed signals. The music was good in this film also the amazing lighting , expressing the changing in moods , different scenes and so on. I don't want to give too much of the storyline away, but I found the ending to be quite sad. Once again great acting from Xavier. Overall I did think it was a good film , but one that did not have as much as an impact on me like his previous films did that I have already seen.
But the feel of the film was wonderful his style of directing is so unique to him and unmistakeable .
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on 7 October 2011
I really liked Tommy 'D' review but it begs the question "What is maturity?" rather then just an emotional learning curve.

Watching this movie was a very real and harsh flashback to my own early 20's - To a time when love and all the associated emotions was still new and I lacked the life experience and the self esteem to deal with them. I would not say I was immature, it was a learning curve, life is an going learning curve.

I've been in love with people who ultimately treat you badly in the end but I have got stronger as a person and I don't let people treat me like that anymore. This movie is a snapshot, a reminder of a time when I wasn't so strong.

After watching the movie you know that the script was written by a male in there early 20's the script lacked depth and the focus was too much on Francis (played by Xavier Dolan who was also the writer and director)What other crazy stuff did Marie (Monia Chokri) do because of her emotions???

Xavier Dolan work will clearly improve as he ages and learns more about life but this film is a signature of where he is now at this moment of his life. The emotions in this film is something we can all look back on and remember the pain we felt but with the benefit of hindsight.

I strongly suspect this film isn't so fictional and is based on Xavier Dolan's real life experiences.

Visually the camera work is stunning and music selected is awesome. However there are some scenes which are done in an interview style and the camera pans in and out like an amateur news man. This is obviously done for stylistic reasons but it is too fake and does not work.

This movie is thought provoking and I really enjoyed it but don't be fooled into thinking that it's like Skins (A British TV show)which was my own impression before watching the movie.

I would recommend having a packet of marshmallows to watch this movie.

There are a lot of French movies with massive budgets which are very much Hollywood style but this film isn't one of them. Xavier Dilan is a new boy on the block and this is the type of film that been given to someone who's starting out in the industry.
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on 7 April 2012
As many have already said, Xavier Dolan is someone to watch both as a director and a writer. His first movie I Killed My Mother [DVD] was a masterful debut, revealing a powerful presence in French/Canadian movie, and dare I say in modern prose. Personally I find Xavier Dolan's writing to be a profound example of insight into emotion and the modern discourse. He seems particularly, adapt at placing both the tragic and the humorous in the same scene and making the message work for an audience. Whilst he never spoon feeds his audience, he certainly educates and one cannot help but leave his movies having experienced and learnt a life experience (or should I say lesson).

The premise is rather simple, two friends fall for the same guy. Whilst this realisation becomes self evident to the two central characters they start to engage in a passive hostility founded in their own lust, desire and selfish obsession with a relatively unknown man. The irony that a significant friendship would be tested by a relative stranger, is a carefully considered aspect of this story, and Dolan warps and moulds this with great skill. It is perfectly believable that two friends who are motivated by largely sexual attraction and desire, albeit for different reasons, would start to manipulate each other in their game to 'get' the man of their desires. After all, who knows the best ways to destroy the hearts of others, but those closest to them.

The stories perversity is not in the selfish manipulation of two friends, but rather the power of Nicola. Is he a innocent victim in this slow destruction, or is he a powerful agent acutely aware of his role in that dynamic. Indeed it is a testament to Dolan's writing, that one is never quite sure of which part Nicolas plays.

The imagery is profound, and the music selection an important part in Dolan's story. The acting is superb, although one is never really introduced to the truth of each character. As such one is never quite sure what motivates them, and as such one seems both removed and invested in them as characters. At 105 minutes the movie is very long, and at times the visual imagery seems monotonous. Despite which it all works, and one is left mesmerised by what has just unfolded.
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on 29 October 2014
I hope that Xavier isn't creatively peaking yet because I want to see so much more!! This is a masterpiece...some scenes I couldn't help replay over and over. As for anyone who has been in a similar situation there will doubtless be a few moments of bitter laughter as you recall moments that you thought you had successfully forgotten. Bravo Xavier. x
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on 7 August 2014
Xavier Dolan is a genius and this film is my favourite of his. So stylish, so well-acted, so funny and heart-breaking at the same time. I love the soundtrack too. I really don't have the words for it but it's very simple: I liked it so much that I watched it twice in a row!
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on 1 March 2013
Brilliant work by the young and talented Xavier Dolan. Be sure to check out the equally brilliant soundtrack! Keep an eye out for future works by this man.
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