“Hungry Hearts”, by Italian Saverio Costanzo, starts off as a slapstick comedy, turns into cool indie film romance, and then gradually slides into pure horror film, like a fascinating pastiche from “Rosemary’s Baby”. The Venice award-winning Driver / Rohrwacher couple are formidable. To see on Amazon Prime Video.
Six minutes in the rickety toilet of a Chinese restaurant: this is the opening – twisting – of the film. A sequence shot where the two protagonists, who do not know each other, find themselves locked up, due to a broken handle. He, an escogriffe with the air of an eternal student, is sick as a dog; she, a graceful flower from elsewhere, stops her nose. Big uneasiness, absurd situation. And the start of their love story, to say the least, unusual. Hungry Hearts So begins as a comedy, before moving on to a cool romance, New York indie cine style. Jude and Mina move into Big Apple, get married. The two look very much in love. They are filmed as close as possible to their daily lives, from the kitchen to the bathroom, camera on the shoulder, as in a home movie. Mina gets pregnant. The situation becomes tense, then deteriorates after the baby is born: following New Age principles to the letter, the young mother does not want to take her child out for fear of pollution, feeds him only with vegan foods, refuses any medication…
In the hell of this home, Hungry Hearts swings into the film of psychological terror, in the manner of the Rosemary’s Baby by Roman Polanski. Suffice to say that we are moving forward in a story full of unforeseen events, changes of register. Saverio Costanzo, Italian filmmaker who had signed The Solitude of Prime Numbers, sometimes abuses the effects of anamorphosis, highlights the oppressive atmosphere a little too much. But he knows how to keep us going, thanks to an impeccable direction of actors. From sensual elf to illuminated devil, Alba Rohrwacher is formidable. Adam Driver also shows a wide range of feelings. Both, in various ways, are endearing. It is moreover this feeling of physical, organic, even visceral proximity that is the price of this film of food anxiety. – Jacques Morice
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