The Good Heart
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Jacques (Brian Cox) is a miserable, middle-aged bar owner with a bad heart, and an even worse personality. After his fifth heart attack, Jacques knows his days are numbered. As fate would have it, he ends up sharing a hospital room with a kindly, but suicidal young homeless man named Lucas (Paul Dano). To his astonishment, Jacques takes a liking to Lucas, and decides to take him under his wing, with the hope that Lucas will keep his bar going after he dies. Once Lucas falls in love with a depressed young French woman (Isild Le Besco), his plan seems to going awry, until a cruel twist of fate brings Jacques closer to Lucas then he ever could have imagined.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
THE GOOD HEART is a great little indie that once again proves what an incredible actor Brian Cox can be. While he usually ends up playing supporting roles in big budget blockbusters (between 2002-2006, there was hardly a major film to come out that didnít feature either Cox, Brendan Gleeson or Tom Wilkinson, or some combination of the three), his starring roles have been few and far between. Having nowadays mostly forsaken big films in favor of indies like the great RED, Cox gets to play the full on lead here, and heís incredible.
With a less likable actor playing Jacques, the character would have been insufferable, but Cox makes him alternately hilarious, and even a tad touching towards the end. In many ways, Jacques' a tragic guy who either never met the right partner, never found out what really made him happy, and let himself get bogged down by a world he just didnít understand. Cox is nothing short of astonishing at times, and if this film had gotten a bigger release, he might have even copped a few acting awards.
Supporting Cox is Paul Dano, whoís someone I have mixed feelings about. Heís a fine actor, but, like a lot of other actors of his generation, he tends to occasionally go over the top (he was like nails on chalkboard in KNIGHT & DAY). Here, heís much lower key than usual, and gives one of the best performances Iíve ever seen him give. Heís playing the exact, warm opposite of Cox, and heís quite endearing, and has good chemistry with co-star Cox (with whom he starred years ago in the controversial L.I.E).
Overall a pretty barebones disc, with two brief featurettes , and some trailers before the film, but not much else.
If youíre looking for some good Cox (ey-yo!), give THE GOOD HEART a look, and youíll be rewarded with an unconventional, yet moving indie drama. While itís not for all tastes, itís a good rental for if you enjoy films like BARFLY, or DRUGSTORE COWBOY, escpecially if you love Cox, and really, who doesn't?