'A Heavy Heart' ('Herbert'): TIFF Review

An ailing former boxing champ tries to make amends for a lifetime of regrets in former student Oscar winner Thomas Stuber's emotionally raw debut feature.

The ballad of a washed-up ex-boxer searching for redemption in a Fassbinder-style demi-monde of lost souls, A Heavy Heart is a bleak but powerful character study from the young German writer-director Thomas Stuber, a former Student Academy Award-winner. The essential plot has many parallels to Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, though the emotional tone here is more somber and the purgatorial urban setting more grim. World premiering in Toronto this week, Stuber's first official full-length feature makes few concessions to entertainment, but packs enough Euro-glum clout to punch above its weight with festivals and niche theatrical audiences.


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