With his debut feature I Killed My Mother, Quebecois filmmaker Xavier Dolan won three awards at the 2009 edition of the Cannes Film Festival. Dolan, 21, was less lucky at home, where he was all but ignored by the Genie Awards, Canada's Oscars.
Anyhow, he's back at the Cannes festival with Les amours imaginaires / Heartbeats, about a romantic triangle involving two friends (Dolan, Monika Chokri) vying for the affections of the same young man (Niels Schneider). Heartbeats was screened at the “Un Certain Regard” sidebar.
According to CTV, Dolan and Heartbeats received a standing ovation following the screening.
Below are a snippets from three – not 100 percent positive – reviews:
“As the writer, director, and star, Xavier Dolan presents a somewhat unusual love story about two friends, one female, one male, who both fall in love with the same guy, both attempting to woo him, but not to much success. … The problem is that the story doesn't have much depth and it doesn't break norm. Dolan uses slow-mo and powerful songs to extended [sic] scenes and moments, but it causes the story [to] drag on a bit more than it should.” Alex Billington at firstshowing.net.
“While Dolan's visual tricksiness and mannerisms wear on the patience, he does achieve occasional moments of visual poetry and, appropriately bearing in mind his age, captures the despair and longing of young heartache. This time he also laces the angst with a dose of caustic humour missing from last year's I Killed My Mother. His intrepid experimentation with visual language is not always successful but suggests great things from the young film-maker in the future.” Mike Goodridge at Screen Daily.
“A hyperstylized “Jules and Jim” update, Canadian actor-turned-filmmaker prodigy Xavier Dolan's French language romance “Heartbeats” (“Les Amour Imaginaires”) is as hip as he intends it. At the same time, this chic look at a bisexual love triangle occasionally feels too entangled in its own cool maneuvers.” Eric Kohn at indieWIRE.