Tom leads a criminal lifestyle, following the footsteps of his father, who made his money through illegal, and sometimes brutal real estate deals. Through a chance encounter, Tom runs into his old piano teacher, reinvigorating his interest in becoming a concert pianist, much like his mother, who died years ago. Jacques Audiard's 'The Beat That My Heart Skipped' is a complete character piece of a man who faces the moral dilemma of continuing down his current path, or defying his father's wishes, who he has much love for, in the pursuit of his dream. Though the details behind his mother's death are never stated, it is clear that Tom's father blames her devotion to the piano as the root cause. Tom has much love for his father, the only person he seems to truly love, yet it's clear that he has passion's similar to his mother. I was a huge fan of Audiard's ' A Prophet', but unfortunately I found this effort to be very underwhelming considering the critical praise. My biggest issue with the film is that for a character portrait piece, the story is far more plot driven than character driven. For example, the chance encounter with his piano teacher that out of nowhere rekindles his desire to be a concert pianist, or the romance which he begins with Aline, his friend/co-worker's wife, seem almost out of nowhere in service to the story more than actually coming from our main character psyche. This drive to become concert pianist is clearly something he shared closely with his mother, yet the film glosses over these details and doesn't give the viewer much emotionally, in the most interesting aspect of the movie. The visual style is similar to his other films, yet it's not nearly as refined or impressive as his later effort, 'A Prophet'. The films story-telling is subtle, which is great, but it needed more emotional depth. Music is this man's escape from a brutal world he is forced to be a part of, due to circumstance, and in the end it ends up saving his life, yet besides one obvious scene near the end, I was vastly unaffected emotionally.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.