HEARTS BEAT LOUD Will Make You Smile

Another review for today from the very busy Kernel Jack. He catches up on our coverage from this year’s Sydney Festival. His closing night film was the music drama HEARTS BEAT LOUD. Sadly this movie has nothing listed for an Australian release but it does have Netflix release written all over it. Keep your eyes out. It had an MA15+ festival equivalent rating and runs for 97mins. Enjoy Jack’s thoughts on the film and enjoy your hump day………………Salty.


After nearly two weeks of provocative art-house cinema, depressingly violent social commentaries, and several intense crying sessions mid-movie, I was very much looking forward to the Sydney Film Festival’s closing night movie, HEARTS BEAT LOUD. It’s the perfect pallet cleanser; a film so charming and affectionate that you’ll be challenged to find a single human being on this planet who won’t leave the theatre without a smile on their face. Calling it delightful is an understatement.


HEART BEATS LOUD Nick Offerman image
Nick Offerman



Frank Fisher (Nick Offerman) was once a successful singer. He had a beautiful wife and a beautiful daughter, and as time passed by, so did his career, but his passion for music never died. Frank now runs a record store, but like everything in his life, time’s taking its toll on the store and he’s on the brink of bankruptcy. But that doesn’t damper his spirits. Sam (Kiersey Clemons), his daughter, is off to college in a few weeks, and with nothing much else to do, Frank wants to rekindle their music-loving days together and start a band. And now we have our movie.


You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more fun loving, easygoing and feel good movie this year. HEARTS BEAT LOUD ticks all the boxes of a crowd-pleaser, filling your heart with love and leaving it bursting with compassion. It’s what THE GREATEST SHOWMAN wishes it could be. Frank and Sam’s journey is mostly devoid of conflict, nearly entirely stake-less save for a few minor sequences, which does lose a lot of the bite that other films of similar subject matter have, but it ups the charm and likeability all the way to eleven, and this works wonders.


HEART BEATS LOUD Kiersey Clemons image
Kiersey Clemons



From Toni Collette singing karaoke to an emotional, moving live performance to the simple delights of watching Sam’s love story blossom, there are so many different components that just work. The screenplay, co-written by Marc Basch and director Brett Haley (THE HERO), is a perfectly concise, emotionally investing series of delightful circumstances after delightful circumstances. You’ll be thrust into these character’s lives and emotions, longing for a happy ending you know you’re probably going to get.

Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons share an unbeatable dynamic as father and daughter musicians. Sam is busy studying for med school, while Frank wishes to rekindle with a past that continues to feel further and further away. They’re easy to connect with, and even easier to relate to. Their arcs may be predictable, but the performances carry this film to the finish line. Offerman has never been better. It’s not as flashy or quotable as, say, his forever-iconic role in PARKS AND RECREATION, but it’s certainly a more grounded, mature performance from the actor, and he does an undeniably fantastic job.


HEART BEATS LOUD Nick Offerman image
Nick Offerman



If you enjoyed 2016’s indie musical gem SING STREET, you’re going to love this. It’s another incredibly likeable story of music, family, being brave and doing what you love, all stitched together by a catchy soundtrack. Frank and Sam don’t necessarily have a plethora of songs up their sleeves, but that’s the point. It works. So yes, you’re going to have to listen to the titular song four times throughout, but hey, it’s super catchy. Perhaps this year HEARTS BEAT LOUD will get what SING STREET should’ve gotten – an Original Song Oscar nomination. It certainly deserves it.


HEART BEATS LOUD Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons image
Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons



This may not be some earth-shattering, genre-defining musical masterpiece, but it’s got enough tricks up its sleeve and love in its heart to work wonders. You may know exactly where it’s ultimately heading towards, but who cares? The best way to experience it is to just go along for the ride and come out a happier person. There’s something here for everyone. In fact, the 60-year-old lady in front of me was constantly bursting into delighted laughter and affectionate (quiet) applause throughout. In an era of darkness, HEARTS BEAT LOUD is the much-needed light.





When he’s not spending an embarrassing amount of hours browsing through Netflix, Jack Dignan dedicates his time to reviewing movies of all genres and languages. He has done so since 2012. He also maintains a website of his own – www.directorscutmovies.com – and ever since their interview, he’s been best friends with Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino just doesn’t know it yet. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.