Following his debut last year with J’ai tue ma mere, writer-director-actor Xavier Dolan returns with another impressive display of his many talents. The friendship between Francis (Dolan) and Marie (the wonderful Monia Chokri) comes under strain when both are attracted to Nicolas (Niels Schneider), newly arrived in Montreal. While the friends become increasingly competitive and malicious, Nico seems content simply to revel in the attention, without indicating his interest either way. The film is shot in a hyper-stylised manner which pays obvious homage to Wong Kar-wai, and amusing documentary-style interviews to camera about the vicissitudes of love evoke Woody Allen. Despite such obvious influences, Dolan is still only 21, and clearly finding his own distinct voice; the strengths of Heartbeats foretell a long and productive career.