Dagur Kari’s The Good Heart
is just about the ideal definition of a character study -- a movie that’s all behavior with almost no actual plot. In this case, the main character is Jacques (Brian Cox), a crusty bar owner who describes himself as a “dirty old bastard with filthy habits.” He’s got a bad ticker and understands that he could die at pretty much any moment. This, of course, doesn’t stop him from chain smoking, drinking nonstop, and hurling an endless stream of poetically vulgar insults at the regulars who gather at Jacques’ place every night. As the movie opens, the old man suffers his fifth heart attack, and during his stay at the hospital, befriends...