3 Hearts Screen 10 articles

3 Hearts

2014

3 Hearts Poster
  • By the time Marc and Sylvie finally start having a full-blown affair and jeopardizing everyone’s happiness—four or five freakin’ years later!—it’s impossible to care, especially since none of the actors succeeds in making these people psychologically complex characters rather than narrative bumper cars. Suspense can be riveting, but 3 Hearts really needed to deploy its bomb much earlier. When it does goes off, it’s a dud.

  • Benoît Jacquot’s high-toned love triangle Three Hearts has a wonderful opening scene, in which meet-cute clichés are teased with subtle atmospheric touches... Sadly, the subtleties evaporate... It’s a carefully made film but not a patch on, say, Claire Denis’s similar Vendredi soir.

  • Jacquot’s follow-up to the coyly closeted costume drama Farewell, My Queen is hardly a work of subtlety: Two sisters fall for the same man, sexual desires are repressed, emotions eventually explode. But while the controlling deities might have found some amusement in this narrative, in Jacquot’s hands the tale is more bland than tragic.

  • Could the story as described till now possibly have a payoff dandy enough to justify all the labored contrivances it entails? Possibly, but that would almost certainly involve our believing in and really caring about the characters. Which doesn’t happen here. The sisters’ attraction to schlubby Marc doesn’t ring true from the first, and it doesn’t grow any more credible as the film wends onward.

  • The symbolic power that the centrifugal character of Ann lends "Villa Amalia" has no counterpart in the centripetal convergence of affinity onto the sisters [of 3 Hearts], their family, their town. It's as if Jacquot found the mechanism of that affection and its conflicts quite sufficient, as if the love stories of the plot weren't a mode of discovery and of self-discovery, but were a reality sufficient unto themselves.

  • Jacquot’s confidence as a stylist and a director of actors shines through in the way he handles this contrived, rom-com-esque scenario. His forceful camera movements—sudden whip-pans, dollies warped by synchronized zooms—create a sense of dread that is bolstered by Bruno Coulais’ thriller-grade score. Of course, there’s nothing really sinister going on here; rather, Jacquot is trying—successfully—to tease out the sense of danger and tension most romances sorely lack.

  • A man is the lead in 3 Hearts, the melodrama from director-writer and New Wave inheritor Benoît Jacquot. The director has the reputation of working well with women and focusing on their issues, and the feminist in all of us has gotten used to seeing the melodrama as a female province. So this is refreshing. And the film is so unabashed in showing the place of passion in a bourgeois world, how a missed connection can screw up a life forever, that plot implausibilities are forgiven.

  • It's the wilder side, the unkempt side of desire that Jacquot clearly empathizes with, but he never evades how these feelings corrupt life without cause and concern... Jacquot never loses sight of the primordial compulsions that drive feelings and expressions of great love and beauty, and knowledge of these cravings, these weaknesses, underlines even the sweetest exchanges in 3 Hearts.

  • A romantic drama with the sensibility of a thriller, Benoît Jacquot’s 3 Hearts is a good example of how a talented director and cast can elevate the most tired of concepts. The film finds meaning in its stylistic dissonances, right from the beginning.

  • Jacquot deftly handles the implausibility of the situation (that Marc could pass weeks and months without twigging to this fact of sibling relation) by insisting on a wilful disavowal on Marc’s part: he fully knows there is a whole stairwell of photos at the house of their mother, Madame Berger (Catherine Deneuve), that could prove or disprove his silent suspicions … In fact, this is part and parcel of that “unreality of normality” which Jacquot nails so well.

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