Frances McDormand impresses in triangular love story set amid the West Coast rock fraternity

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 4

Product:

Rock’n’Roll Hearts

DIRECTED BY Lisa Cholodenko

STARRING Frances McDormand, Kate Beckinsale, Christian Bale, Alessandro Nivola

Opens November 28, Cert 15tbc, 107 mins

A clever, compassionate and original relationships study which uses the mellower side of the LA rock’n’roll world as its backcloth, Cholodenko’s follow-up to the acclaimed High Art is funny, wry and astute. It allows you to feel for its lost boys and girls as they feel their way towards honesty and a variation on fulfilment. Music weaves its merry or melancholy way around their moral mistakes.

Thus much fun can be had spotting Lou Barlow and Folk Implosion as the band who back Britpop star Ian (Nivola). Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, Daniel Lanois and Beck’s bassist also feature. But Cholodenko’s story first arose as she gazed at Joni Mitchell’s painting on the cover of the Ladies Of The Canyon album. She imagined the lives of the people living in that picture. Laurel Canyon’s like no other quarter of Los Angeles?she’s said it has a hippie, boho, timeless quality. (In truth it’s only recently been reclaimed by the music industry from that other industry lovingly described in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights).

Serious young couple Sam (Bale) and fianc