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Hearts Beat Loud 2018 ***

Nick Offerman has plenty to offer as an actor; his character in Parks and Recreation had a layer of officious stiffness that he shrugs off nicely as the cool and funky dad of Sam (Kiersey Clemons), a teenage girl about to go to college. Her dad’s life is music, owning and closing Red Hook’s best record shop and playing the guitar at home. He’s still in mourning for Sam’s mother, killed in a cycling accident. The gentle pace is key here, allowing the music in the film to breathe, as do support turns from Toni Collette, Ted Danson and Blythe Danner. Hearts Beats Loud deals cautiously and lightly with bigger topics, before doubling down on the father-daughter relationship. Creating music that fits the story well is Keegan deWitt, who makes the characters’ enthusiasm for music feel understandable. Hearts Beat Loud has got the simplicity of a good short film, and the music fills the cracks and makes it fly.


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