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» » Heart (1999)

Short summary

Gary (Eccleston) is wheelchair bound and awaiting a heart transplant. When a young man, Sean, is killed in a motorbike accident, Gary receives his heart. Maria (Reeves), Sean's mother, tracks down the man with her son's heart and gets to know him and his wife, Tess (Hardie). Maria's obsession with the only piece of her son still living is the centre-piece to this unique psychological thriller.

The script of this movie is loosely based on an episode of the British TV series Cracker (1993) that was never produced.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Quellik
    In England, Gary Ellis (Christopher Exxleston) is a very insecure and jealous pilot, who owns an airplane. He loves his wife Tess Ellis (Kate Hardie), but maybe because of his physical condition, she cheats him with the writer and her colleague Alex Madden (Rhys Ifans). One day, after his wife has had sex with Alex, Gary has a heart attack. Meanwhile, a seventeen years old man has a fatal accident with his motorcycle, and Gary receives his heart, through a successful operation. Gary decides to look for the donator's mother, Maria Ann McCardle (Saskia Reeves), a very religious woman and she becomes obsessed for Gary. The explosive combination of jealousy, affair and obsession leads the quartet to a tragic end. This movie is a really frightening thriller about obsession. The screenplay is very tight, the direction is very sharp, the atmosphere is scary and the four lead actors and actresses have really a great performance. It works perfectly on DVD. My vote is eight.

    Title (Brazil): Not Available – I Saw It in an Imported DVD
  • comment
    • Author: lolike
    The only way to see this film is on the big screen. It's dark, menacing, disturbing but has some moments of great power punctuated with lighter scenes of typical McGovern dialogue. The acting is first class as is the subtle direction. You may need a cast iron stomach for some of the sequences, especially at the end which is pretty shocking. Not exactly a deep movie, but a good watch none the less.
  • comment
    • Author: Drelalen
    ...from William Irish's (aka Cornell Woolrich) "the bride wore black" which François Truffaut adapted for the screen in 1968.What remains is more Ruth Rendell style.Although full of implausibilities and plot holes,it's an entertaining thriller which smartly uses old songs such as "anyone who has a heart" or "this heart of mine".A lot of sex and violence (and surgery) and not enough humor.But the plot is original enough to sustain interest till the end ,even if this end is "déjà vu".
  • comment
    • Author: Wooden Purple Romeo
    What a witty and brilliant British thriller. A mother is losing her son who died in a motorcycle accident. His heart is tranplanted into the body of a young man who has suffered from a heart attack. His wife is seeking love and satisfaction with another guy. And the mother is falling in love with the husband who owns the only remaining sign of life of her beloved son, his heart... this all leads to a fatal menage-a-quatre with a deadly end for nearly everybody.

    This film is really heart-grabbing and a perfect mixture of some hopeless love affairs, a psycho thriller, lots of good acting (especially by Sakia Reeves who plays the despaired mother and Rhys Ifans as arrogant TV manager) and some really witty metaphors about the often used topic "heart". Love songs, quotes, heart beats, heart attacks, etc. - you've never seen so many references to the love symbol "heart" in a movie.

    At the end of the film, you see a shocking scene of the bloodstained mother walking around with a human heart in a bag... the (often heart-related) sound track songs are also very suitable, and after watching this movie you will never see all those "heartache love story" cliches the same way!
  • comment
    • Author: Kulalbine
    "Heart" is an engrossing study of extremes.This film takes us on an extremely profound journey of obsessions,manifested in four characters. Maria,the mother grieving over the loss of her son.Gary,the husband tormented by his wife's infidelity.Tess,the unfaithful wife & Alex,the lover. Each characters arch,is the fact that they are so human that it is easy to lose yourself in each characters personal journey.The plot itself is perfectly structered to allow the story to unfold itself. One of the best Brittish films I have seen in years.
  • comment
    • Author: Gholbimand
    I find it interesting that a previous review said "...you don't know whats going to happen next...". In fact, you know EXACTLY what's going to happen next because it's shown in the first 5 minutes. "Getting there" is pretty interesting and fairly gruesome. One thing I didn't like was that there are 4 characters, and none of them is the least bit likeable. In fact, they're all pretty hateable. The last shot of the movie is fantastic and took me by suprise. I'd recommend this film for some good acting and a pretty unusual plotline.
  • comment
    • Author: Bragis
    A fascinating tale of lust, jealousy and mourning. Well acted and skillfully written, it shows why British cinema is best at giving us a view of the dark side of human nature.

    This film is not for the squeamish, and those of a delicate stomach should close their eyes at the first sound of "Anyone Who Had A heart", and not open them until it ends. Great use of old (1960's)songs.
  • comment
    • Author: Whitesmasher
    Heart is one of the most impressive movies of 1998. It's a drama that fascinates so much, because you have absolutely no idea what is going to happen next. All the characters are totally believable, which makes the story so disturbing.
  • comment
    • Author: Leceri
    "Heart", a lean and taught psychodrama, peers into the life of a heart transplant patient as a strange and aberrant relationship develops between him and the heart donor's mother. An excellent film for those into razor sharp, no frills drama, "Heart" qualifies as an under-rated "sleeper". The film's only deficits are (on the DVD version I watched), mediocre video quality and poor sound with no English subtitles or CC. I listened to it via headphones so as to not miss a syllable. (B+)
  • comment
    • Author: Gavinranadar
    Was watching this intriguing film when I spotted that the hospital is actually Siemens in Manchester where I used to work - spent the rest of the film location spotting. Very good film - very "cracker-esque" in plot. If you liked that tv series, then you'll like this
  • comment
    • Author: Ustamya
    I was really looking forward to this movie. I'm a great fan of Jimmy McGovern's work. But this film just failed to engage me at any point. It felt like an episode of Cracker, but without the Cracker side of the plot. In fact, the whole thing felt like a lame TV drama, despite the widescreen format. Unltimately, a disappointment.
  • comment
    • Author: Beranyle
    This film didn't make much sense to me. The story is told fairly straight, but its twists and turns are contrived and I couldn't discern any unifying dramatic structure. The climax is so overblown it's amusingly bad. The acting was excellent, but that is not enough to make the film worth watching.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Saskia Reeves Saskia Reeves - Maria Ann McCardle
    Christopher Eccleston Christopher Eccleston - Gary Ellis
    Kate Hardie Kate Hardie - Tess Ellis
    Rhys Ifans Rhys Ifans - Alex Madden
    Anna Chancellor Anna Chancellor - Nicola Farmer
    Matthew Rhys Matthew Rhys - Sean McCardle
    Jack Deam Jack Deam - Policeman
    Kate Rutter Kate Rutter - Sister Mary
    Nicholas Moss Nicholas Moss - Doctor
    Bill Paterson Bill Paterson - Mr. Kreitman
    Paul Warriner Paul Warriner - Surgeon
    Maxine Burth Maxine Burth - Anaesthetist
    David Williamson David Williamson - Profusionist
    Alan Eccleston Alan Eccleston - Alan Ellis
    Alison Swann Alison Swann - Kathy
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