Hungry Hearts, an indigo child among us
by Camillo de Marco
- VENICE 2014: Saverio Costanzo comes to Venice with his fourth movie – a family drama filmed as a thriller in an unwelcoming New York
An Indigo child. After a psychic reading by a medium consulted in downtown New York, Mina convinces herself that her child is special, one of those children which New Age followers call indigos. Mia is an Italian girl who works in the US. She met Jude, her husband, in the bathroom of a Chinese restaurant in which they both were locked into. This is the hilarious scene that opens Hungry Hearts [+see also:
interview: Saverio Costanzo
film profile] by Saverio Costanzo, in competition at the Venice Film Festival.
The child is now seven months old and has stopped growing. Certain that she must protect her son from any form of impurity from a hostile outside world, Mia feeds him only with vegetable soups from vegetables that she herself grows in the greenhouse on the roof of their building. No milk, meat or plant protein. Jude, desperate, takes him to a doctor: malnutrition. The child is in grave danger. An escalation of tension occurs between the two parents, which turns into a conflict when Jude, after going to see a solicitor, decides to "kidnap" the child and take him to her elderly mother.
With his fourth feature film, Costanzo tackles this family drama by moving the setting of the novel upon which the film is based, The Indigo Child by Venetian writer Marco Franzoso, to New York. The movie will probably anger animal-rights activists and vegetarians because it focuses on an extreme case that encroaches on illness but which seems instead to condemn a radicalism that could lead to excess. Ultimately highlighted in the movie is the failure of a couple that loves each other but that could not understand one another and take on responsibility.
Starring in the movie are Alba Rohrwacher, in her element with the English language and with playing an obsessed mother, and Adam Driver, recently making an appearance in Inside Llewyn Davis directed by the Coen Brothers, Lincoln by Steven Spielberg and J.Edgar by Clint Eastwood, while currently filming as lead of the long-awaited Star Wars by J.J. Abrams, "Episode VII", alongside Harrison Ford, and he’s also part of the cast of Silence, Martin Scorsese’s next movie. The grandmother is played by seasoned Roberta Maxwell.
Excellently filmed in a 1.66:1 image ratio, similar to Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, with magnificent photography by Fabio Cianchetti that reminds us somewhat of the 70s, as in the director’s previous film, The Solitude of Prime Numbers [+see also:
interview: Luca Marinelli
film profile], Hungry Hearts quickly builds anxiety jam-packed with questions and doubts, thanks also to the use of wide shots and frames in classic thriller style. Its international dimension makes it accessible to foreign markets. Produced by Wildside and RAI Cinema, it will be released in Italy after Christmas 2014 with 01.
(Translated from Italian)