Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Hearts Beat Loud: Haley Makes Music with Offerman and Clemons

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Cinema | July 25th, 2018

Brett Haley follows “The Hero” with another intimate and small-scale drama that touches on love and loss, looking back and moving forward. Nick Offerman, who provided memorable support in “The Hero” as Sam Elliott’s drug connection, assumes lead duties as Brooklyn record store proprietor Frank Fisher. Coming to grips with the imminent closure of his shop and the cross-country relocation of his daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) to UCLA medical school, widower Frank avoids the realities of his midlife crossroads by way of improvisational and, as it turns out, highly productive songwriting collaborations with the reluctant but talented Sam.

Despite her aptitude for cardiological studies, Sam takes genuine pleasure in “jam sesh time” with her pop. And just like that, father and daughter build and record a track that Frank uploads to Spotify and minor indie mix glory. Akin to the John Carney trio of “Once,” “Begin Again,” and “Sing Street,” “Hearts Beat Loud” occupies that cinematic sweet spot that sprinkles enough pixie dust on music composition montages for us to suspend our disbelief at the tough process of making art. Keegan DeWitt supplies the music, effectively selling the deceptively simple combination of instruments as the work of Frank and Sam (Offerman and Clemons play and sing).

Haley, working again with co-screenwriter Marc Basch, revels in the unhurried pace and quiet revelations that give the actors plenty of space to build and explore characterization. Offerman’s role as written is meatier than the one played by Clemons, but both performers -- especially in their scenes together -- zero in on the complexities of their relationship. The absence of Sam’s mother/Frank’s partner is effectively integrated. Allison Shoemaker, for “Consequence of Sound,” recognizes one of the movie’s joys in how that grief registers, writing that “Offerman makes his choices look like survival instincts.”

The most interesting interpersonal dynamic in “Hearts Beat Loud” blossoms in the specific and particular way in which Frank and Sam navigate their roles and responsibilities. The loss of Sam’s mom continues to be processed in ways individuated by Haley and Basch, manifesting in scenes like the one in which Sam learns to ride a bicycle, and the subsequent confrontation over her missing curfew. Sam and Frank, especially through the awkward magnet of their aptly-named duo We’re Not a Band, are as much friends as they are parent and child. Clearly, Frank’s pressure on Sam to see where their music might take them cleverly allows Haley to invert the typical trope of sensible adult/dreamy kid.

Moviegoers looking for something darker and edgier won’t find it in the crowd-pleasing fuzz of “Hearts Beat Loud,” but I don’t think Haley should be faulted for his tone. So many potential cliches are deliberately ignored (Haley veteran Blythe Danner’s challenges with aging and possible dementia as Frank’s mom/Sam’s grandma may come closest to stepping on the line) that repeat viewings will reward the watcher with tiny details in the low-key interactions between and among the central cast. The supporting players, including Ted Danson (tending bar!) and especially Toni Collette and Sasha Lane, add to the good vibrations of Haley’s sweet summer tune.

Recently in:

FARGO – On the hottest of summer days, Brandon Medenwald hit the pavement. Comfortably dressed in shorts and a no-sweat polo shirt, he carried brochures in one hand.In his other hand he carried a mobile phone, frequently pushed…

You may or may not have heard about Robinson, North Dakota... referred to by some as the “Paradise City,” a bounding oasis in beautiful pothole slough country nestled in the lush prairies of Kidder County and located on scenic…

August 16-18Hotel Donaldson, 101 N Broadway, FargoCan you believe that the Hotel Donaldson is celebrating 15 years already? They’re dedicating a whole weekend of festivities for Dale Days this year. The fun starts Thursday expect…

I’m one of the most well known trans individuals in the Fargo/Moorhead area. This is because I’ve purposely put myself out there as a symbol of visibility. I’m out there to show people that you can be transgender and that you…

Actually The Times Have Been A-Changin’ Since The Big BangBob Dylan did a terrific job reminding all of us that “the times they are a’changin’.” My first 14 years were spent on a small farm near Little Falls, living in a…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

By Ben Myhre benmyhre35@gmail.com If you are a gardener in the area, you know that this is the time of year when zucchini becomes plentiful. In fact, many have a tough time using all of it. You may see just a small little zucchini…

The fledgling United States of America was formed when the colonies took to revolution against the British monarchy over two centuries ago. Of course, that revolution did not prevent the British from invading us almost two hundred…

Tim Wardle’s documentary “Three Identical Strangers” shares the seemingly impossible tale of brothers Eddy Galland, David Kellman, and Bobby Shafran, separated-at-birth identical triplets who discovered one another as young…

Arts

Dan Mihuta: The Art Maker

by HPR Contributor

By Rod Hadland rodanthonyhadland@gmail.comThe name Mr. Mihuta may not be familiar, but for most of my life, I’ve known that name. There was a television show where Mr. Mihuta taught art projects, in various mediums, that I…

By Stella Mehlhoffstellamehlhoff@gmail.comAs I stared out of Guthrie Theater’s Amber room at a bird’s eye of the cityscape and river below, I hardly took in the night lights, my mind was too focused on the art I had just…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

Once a year, fans of beer in the FM area have access to what their heart desires... bragging rights. The Rare Beer Picnic grants beer aficionados the ability to taste whatever their heart desires from their favorite beer…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

Last Word

​High Plains Radicals

by HPR Contributor

By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.edu"The sun was shining as I was strollingThe wheat field waving the dust clouds rollingThe fog was lifting a voice was chantingThis land was made for you and me"— Woody GuthrieWith socialism, even in a…