Heartbeats (film)

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Heartbeats (film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Xavier Dolan
Produced by Xavier Dolan
Carole Mondello
Daniel Morin
Written by Xavier Dolan
Starring Monia Chokri
Niels Schneider
Xavier Dolan
Cinematography Stéphanie Anne Weber Biron
Edited by Xavier Dolan
Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm
Distributed by Remstar Distribution (Canada)
IFC Films (US)
Release date(s)
  • May 16, 2010 (2010-05-16)
Running time 101 minutes[1]
Country Canada
Language French
Budget CAD$600,000 (approx. USD$594,695)
Box office $588,383[2]

Heartbeats (French: Les Amours imaginaires) is a 2010 Canadian drama film directed by Xavier Dolan. It follows the story of two friends who both fall in love with the same man. It premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.[3]


Francis and Marie first meet Nicolas at a dinner party, where they both feign lack of interest in him. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, the three form a close friendship, meeting up regularly and even sleeping together in the same bed. However, it is clear that both Marie and Francis have an interest in Nicolas beyond friendship; Marie is visibly disappointed when she hopes to enjoy an intimate meal with Nicolas at a Vietnamese restaurant, only to see Francis and his friends there, and Francis is consumed by lust for Nicolas to the extent that he vigorously masturbates over the smell of Nicolas' clothes when left alone in his apartment. Both are led on by their interpretation of Nicolas' actions, such as eating a cherry from Francis' hand and telling Marie he loves them. Their feelings lead to competition between the two friends for Nicolas' affections, evidenced by their rivalry over the gifts they buy for his birthday.

The relationship culminates in a trip to stay in the vacation home of Nicolas' mother. Marie becomes jealous when Nicolas feeds Francis a marshmallow, telling him to eat it slowly like a 'striptease', and she goes to bed early. The next morning, she wakes up alone and again observes the two frolicking together from afar. She decides to leave, at which point Francis chases after her and the two end up wrestling on the ground. Nicolas is not impressed and decides to leave, saying they can love him or leave him. On returning from the trip, they don't see Nicolas, both leaving messages on his answerphone and Marie writing him a love letter. Eventually, Francis meets Nicolas and ends up pouring out his feelings, telling him he loves him and wants to kiss him. The only response from Nicolas is to ask him 'How could you think I was gay?', leaving Francis devastated. Later, Marie catches up with Nicolas in the street, and tells him about the love letter, but implies she wrote it to a female friend. From this, Nicolas comes to the conclusion that Marie has a female lover, which she denies. As Nicolas goes to leave, claiming to have left something on the stove, she tells him the truth about the letter but this makes no difference.

The film continues with Francis and Marie re-establishing their friendship and Nicolas moving away to Asia. In the final scene, they are again at a party, looking for potential lovers.


  • Xavier Dolan as Francis
  • Monia Chokri as Marie
  • Niels Schneider as Nicolas
  • Anne Dorval as Désirée
  • Anne-Élisabeth Bossé as Jeune femme 1
  • Olivier Morin as Jeune homme 1
  • Magalie Lépine Blondeau as Jeune femme 2
  • Éric Bruneau as Jeune homme 2
  • Gabriel Lessard as Jeune homme 3
  • Bénédicte Décary as Jeune femme 3
  • François Bernier as Baise 1
  • Benoît McGinnis as Baise 2
  • François Xavier Dufour as Baise 3
  • Anthony Huneault as Antonin
  • Patricia Dulasne as Coiffeuse
  • Jody Hargreaves as Jody
  • Clara Palardy as Clara
  • Minou Petrowski as Caissière
  • Perrettte Sounder as Coiffeuse
  • Sophie Desmarais as Rockabill
  • Marie-Christine Cormier as Barmaid
  • Louis Garrel (special appearance) as L'invité à la soirée finale


Heartbeats received generally positive reviews, currently holding a 73% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes; the consensus states: "An art film to the max, Heartbeats' intriguing and appealing premise is sometimes buried by director Xavier Dolan's filmmaking flourishes."[4] On Metacritic, which uses an average of critics' reviews, the film has a 70/100, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[5]


The film won the The Sydney Film Prize at the 2010 Sydney Film Festival.[6]


External links[edit]