3 Hearts

3 coeurs

Charlotte Gainsbourg plays a woman caught in a play of love, fate and narrative coincidence, in Benoît Jacquot’s sly, eerie and entertaining tale of chance-crossed love.

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  • Director Benoît Jacquot
  • Producers Edouard Weil, Alice Girard
  • Screenwriters Benoît Jacquot, Julien Boivent
  • With Charlotte Gainsbourg, Benoît Poelvoorde, Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve
  • France 2013
  • 90 mins
  • UK distribution Metrodome Group Ltd

A tax official misses his train home from a provincial town, where he meets a mysterious woman. Something sparks, and they decide to meet again, but chance intervenes. Later, the man revisits the same town and clicks with another woman, but they’re both in for a surprise. 3 Hearts is a love story about fate, or randomness; opportunities missed and taken; and the mysterious forces of attraction. It’s also a mischievous game that plays with the conventions of storytelling and the use and abuse of coincidence. Benoît Jacquot’s sly and, despite its ironies, surprisingly moving tale acquires a special edge from the casting of Benoît Poelvoorde, French/Belgian cinema’s perennial anxious Everyman, opposite the ever-compelling Charlotte Gainsbourg and Chiara Mastroianni. Elegant visuals and Bruno Coulais’s eerie score pull us deep into a narrative that hovers teasingly on the edge of the unreal.

Jonathan Romney