The Adam Driver obsession is strong, guys, I can’t help it. I’ve got months to go before Girls starts up again (for its last season as well!), and I don’t even want to do the maths on how many days/weeks/months are left till Star Wars Episode VIII. I’ve been on the hunt for Adam Driver movies, and Hungry Hearts has been sat there for a while. I read Brittani’s review ages ago, and I should have probably listened to her...but I just couldn’t help myself.
Jude (Adam Driver) and Mina (Alba Rohrwacher) meet by chance one night in New York city and fall in love. When Mina announces she’s being transferred with her work place Jude refuses to pull out whilst the two are intimate, leading to Mine getting pregnant. After strange, repetitive dreams Mina becomes obsessed with cleanliness and purity, and will only feed their baby oils and mashed vegetables, leaving him looking like 2 months old when he is in fact 7 months and not gaining any weight.
Before I start ranting, I need to start with just how perfect the opening to this movie was. It sums up everything I love about indie movies. Jude and Mina find themselves locked in the bathroom of a Chinese restaurant, Mina being a diner there and Jude unfortunately there because an illness-related emergency required him to run into the nearest place with a toilet. The whole scene is over 5 minutes long, all done in one take and just watching them chuckle at the situation whilst Mina holds her nose just felt so natural to me.
Sadly, the rest of the movie doesn’t carry on that way. I mean, you know a movie is messed up when you’re actually feeling sorry for the guy who forced himself on his girlfriend, right?! It’s actually a really interesting premise for a movie, but Jude’s actions at that point are unforgivable, I wish they’d cut that part out. I can’t believe it took Jude 7 whole months before he snuck their baby out to see a doctor, especially as he had a fever for over 2 weeks at that point. In fact, at this point in the movie I was just so angry at the situation and the world I wanted to crawl into my TV, smack Mina myself and shake Jude till he saw sense!
Then of course Jude’s Mum gets involved, and that’s when I saw some hope. I was so sad at this point, Jude was sneaking his child out to the church just to feed him bits of ham. Arghh! Maybe I’m being naive, maybe the laws are different in the US, but I’m pretty sure if I rang the Child Protection Services and said ‘Help, my partner won’t feed our child and he’s starving’ I’d have several staff members practically kicking my door down to help. What kind of messed up system exists where a parent is forced to kidnap their own child?!
The saving grace here is Adam Driver, and no, I’m not being biased (promise), he actually won Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival for this. Sadly, he’s the saving grace of most movies he’s been in. I really hope Star Wars brings him some better roles in the future. I feel bad for ranting now, because in all technical aspects Hungry Hearts is actually a really good movie, but it just made me so mad at the world!
I’ll leave the ending a surprise for anyone who actually wants to tackle watching this movie for themselves. It definitely wins an award with me as one of the most shocking endings to a movie!