Xavier Dolan's second feature is a beautiful film about young love and the search for one's soul-mate. Heartbeats tells the story of two friends, Marie and Francis, both who are searching for this type of connection. Marie is clearly someone who exerts a lot of energy and though into her appearance, wearing vintage clothing and makeup, reminiscent of an Audrey Hepburn. She is an intellectual type, making sure everyone knows it. Francis on the other hand is 5/6 gay (on the Kinsey scale) who maintains himself as well, like a Quasi-James Dean. A young man befriends them both, but when they start to both fall for him, things get fun. Xavier Dolan's aesthetic is rather fresh, using a lot of handheld, and slow motion at the right times, to bring us visually into the characters emotions and feelings. He chooses to have 3 or 4 scenes intercut throughout the main story of a few young individuals talking about their experiences with love. These character have no connection with Francis or Marie other than that they take part in the same struggle which everyone does. The insertion of these scenes is hardly necessary but it affectingly grounds the film adding a more cinema verite, faux documentary style to go with this stylistic story. The script is a very honest look into this search and while it is never depressing, it is real and genuine in it's depiction. I actually much prefer the alternate title Love, Imagined, as it speaks more to the plight of the stories protagonists.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.