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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

THE GOOD HEART

By D.E.Levine

Director: Dagur Kari
Writer: Dagur Kari
Cast: Paul Dano, Brian Cox, Stephanie Szostak, Isild Le Besco, Damian Young, Clark Middleton, Susan Blommaert et al.
Producers: Skuli Fr. Malmquist and Thor Sigurjonsson
Executive Producers: Scott Macaulay and Sigurjon Sighvatsson
Co-producers: Peter Nadermann and Birgitte Skov
Associate Producer: Sigrid Strohmann
Line Producers: Hlin Johannesdottir and Jimmy Price
Original Music: Ori Jonsson and Dagur Kari
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Country of Origin: United Kingdon
Language: English
Genre: Drama

Basically The Good Heart is a film about gifts and what they mean. Is a gift really a gift if it comes with conditions?

Early in the movie, Lucas, a homeless man and street person attempts suicide and his life is saved by staff at the hospital. He's extremely grateful and signs up to be an organ donor. The staff is so moved by his thanks that they take up a collection to give him a new start.

At the same time, crusty old Jacques, the owner of a bar straight out of "The Iceman Cometh" suffers his fifth heart attack and is saved at the same hospital where his doctor informs him he can be put on a heart transplant list only if he gives up smoking and drinking.

The two meet and bond when they are placed in the same room in the hospital.

Once released from the hospital Lucas gives all his money away to other street people. Jacques takes him in as an apprentice and teaches him how to handle the bar. There are a lot of rules involved as far as handling the customers, making the espresso and limiting the number of customers to no more than thirteen.

When a distraught young woman shows up during a storm one night Lucas takes her in and despite Jacques' disapproval they soon wind up marrying.

The lead actors play well against each other and make the story totally believable, if a bit bizarre.

An unexpected twist in the plot brings the viewer back to the question about when is a gift a gift and what part does fate play in bringing gifts to us?

The Good Heart touches the viewer's heart more deeply than expected by its display of tenderness and mortality.