HUNGRY HEARTS Rating: NN See listing.
Where to watch: iTunes
Saverio Costanzo’s Hungry Hearts has so much potential, and goes sideways so quickly. It’s a frustrating waste.
It starts wonderfully, with strangers Jude (Adam Driver) and Mina (Alba Rohrwacher, from I Am Love and The Wonders) meeting when they’re trapped together in the restroom of a Chinese restaurant somewhere in Manhattan. Playing the scene in one long, deeply awkward take, Costanzo crafts a marvellous little short film.
But there’s more. In no time at all, Jude and Mina are married, with an infant son, and something is terribly wrong. Convinced that her baby is some sort of miracle child, Mina is determined to ensure he remains “pure” – and Jude finds himself wondering if he’s his wife’s enabler or simply her hostage.
Rohrwacher does what she can to make Mina seem reasonable, but Hungry Hearts is weighted against her from the start. Costanzo shoots entire scenes with distorted lenses and garish lighting, turning an Upper West Side apartment into the set of Repulsion.
Driver has one fantastic scene where Jude is forced to admit just how terrible things have become at home, but then there’s another hour of back-and-forth before the clumsy, almost arbitrary resolution. Like I said, frustrating. 109 minutes.