A rare Gallic remake of an American film, director Jacques Audiard's reworking of James Toback's 1978 movie Fingers concerns an intense young man who is torn between a life of crime and a career as a concert pianist -- hardly your usual dilemma. A character study, the film succeeds in large measure due to the kinetically charged performance of Romain Duris (L'Auberge Espagnol) as the conflicted musician Thomas, whose day job -- collecting delinquent rents and evicting tenants for his unscrupulous real-estate partners -- is leaving an increasingly bad taste in his mouth. Abandoning the wheeling and dealing also means turning his back on his father, an aging slumlord who increasingly relies on his son to do his dirty work. The aggressive but intimate camera work -- hand-held, lots of close-ups, usually from Thomas' point of view -- and fast editing style perfectly reflect the emotional agitation of the tightly wound protagonist. In French, with English subtitles.
The Beat That My Heart Skipped