Movie Review: 3 Hearts never pumps enough lifeblood into its contrived love triangle

The ancient gods would have loved Benoît Jacquot’s 3 Hearts, a romance that’s all fate and no free will, with characters who are mere pawns in this hopeless game called life and nothing more than slaves to the universe’s cruel timing. Hyperbolic? Perhaps, but Jacquot’s follow-up to the coyly closeted costume drama Farewell, My Queen is hardly a work of subtly: Two sisters fall for the same man, sexual desires are repressed, emotions eventually explode. But while the controlling deities might have found some amusement in this narrative, in Jacquot’s hands the tale is more bland than tragic.

Marc (Benoît Poelvoorde), a tax inspector with a weak heart (so begins the subtly), is stranded in the banlieues of Paris when he misses the last train home. After wandering into a café, he sees Sylvie (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and asks where he can find a hotel. The …

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