Queen of Hearts DVD Review
Queen of Hearts
is a little comedy that
sets its heart at anyone who has ever experienced an emotional breakup
someone and who fears the worst: total
rejection and loneliness the entire-world-over.
Not that you
have to experience either of these things to be able to enjoy Queen of Hearts as the slice-of-life
comedy it is. Here is a film that is all about the path of
and the miracle in you.
get the basic plot-line out of the way rather
quickly. It's easy to break-down. The film opens dramatically with a
between lead heroine Adèle (Valérie Donzelli) and her
boyfriend. Newly depressed,
Adèle turns to her best friend Rachel (Béatrice De
Staël); an older woman who
is frank in informing her that she needs to get over her ex-boyfriend
and move towards
having a relationship with someone more deserving of her affection.
decides to start looking for a new romance
with someone else. She sets off gleefully to discover her next
time after time she is with bad men and she isn't happy with the
all. But she also continually ignores the affections of a man who cares
and whom she appreciates as a newfound friend.
dramatic question of the film: who will Adèle end
up with and will she find true love and happiness by the conclusion?
is answered by the end and I suppose
it almost is a question answered without
even having to ask the question. Which is the norm for many of the
comedies produced today - but that's not the reason to see the film. It
about the journey the filmmakers and actors take you on.
of all, this is a cinematic experience that
defies the realm of conventional storytelling. It doesn't ever feel
something even attempting to appeal to everyone in a Hollywood-esque
way. The characters don't simply follow a strict pattern of
of it seems to be that the screenplay wants to defy all expectations
and be as
odd of a comedy and romance as possible. To a certain degree, that
works in the film's favor and keeps it interesting.
reason the film works as well as it does is
because the performances by Valérie Donzelli combined
Jérémie Elkaïm (who portrays
four different characters throughout the film) work surprisingly well.
seems like such a small production - which it is - but the acting
reflect this as much.
is fantastic as Adèle, who is a sweet
heroine who you really want to find happiness. Elkaïm is particularly exceptional though for pulling off four
that all required difference in mannerisms and appearance. I was
about the film made me realize it was one performer portraying all four
romantic interests throughout the entire viewing experience. That's
acting, period. The characters were
of Hearts isn't
a great movie, but
it does feature interesting performances, an eclectic array of quirky
choices from its director, and a solid story that has that indie charm
often look for and so rarely find.
the very least it makes for a passable rental. It's
a charming, if somewhat inconsistent
experience as a whole.
simply isn't a good looking movie at all and there is absolutely nothing that could change that. The film wasn't
filmed using high-resolution cameras and the best-of-the-best
of Hearts is
just about as lo-fi in technological
approach as you reasonably can expect to see these days. It's clearly
using low-grade digital cameras, something that does make it feel
quasi-documentary and not altogether in a good way. It doesn't matter
The spirit is what makes the film interesting and not the visuals. Some
depend on the visuals to tell an interesting story. Queen of Hearts isn't one
of those films. Director/writer/star Valérie
Donzelli even films it in the
classic 1.33.1 aspect ratio and utilizes a slight framing technique to
film, which makes it appear slightly smaller. It is clearly meant to
evoke a certain feeling of classic French films. To a certain extent
look works in this regard.
interesting about the audio presentation. It is presented with standard
Digital audio. The movie never utilizes sound effects to good effect
film is sparse in music. While there are some moments where the music
film a bit more light and breezy as a comedy, most of the time the film
rather quiet and only focused on the sparse dialogue. It's certainly
hear and understand but nothing interesting is going on with regards to
Presented in French with English Subtitles.
releases contain a new short film with each monthly selection. This
film selection is: Luis and Marta Work
Together. Directed by Alois Di Leo, the story is about a man and
working on a project while at last admitting to one another that they
had feelings for each other. Marta proposes they move past the
the feelings they have by proposing a very odd solution: getting naked
working. It's a short trifle that doesn't explore the characters much,
makes a decidedly bizarre short film that has a way of being more
than the premise suggests.
release also contains a short bio on Queen
of Hearts director Valérie
trailers for other Film Movement releases.
isn't a great movie but it is one with some
worthwhile merits - most especially the contribution of actor Jérémie
who performed four roles and was so effective at this that it didn't
my mind that multiple parts were being played by the same actor in the
until the end credits made it incredibly apparent to me. I was in a
state of truly
bewildered disbelief. The rest of the movie isn't so-bad either. It's
nothing too far flung outside of the realm of decent independent fare.
expectations in check and you'll enjoy the film and be impressed by
film has flaws - most notably its lo-fi cinematography and its lack of
compelling character development. The screenplay is lacking in
but it is largely successful at creating interesting comedic scenarios
these aspects (and the film itself) won't seem entirely appealing to
Make sure to
rent Queen of Hearts first and to then
make your purchasing decisions accordingly.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.