Hungry Hearts begins to run into problems.
The behaviour of the doctors consulted and the legal advice Jude receives feels more true to the Italian context of the novel - Marco Franzoso's Il Bambino Indauco - than New York. The new agedness of Mina is also tilted too quickly into obvious mental problems for there to be any balance. Costanzo chooses a much more indie feel, compared to his slicker 2010 Venice offering The Solitude of Prime Numbers, filming digitally and almost always in tight shots. Mina and Jude's cramped apartment seems to have the walls literally closing in. The movie loses the lightness and economy of the opening as Costanzo hammers home his symbolism. When the arch-vegan Mina visits the home of Jude's mother Anne (Roberta Maxwell), he makes it into a lodge of hunting trophies along with Chekov's rifle perched prominently on the wall. Although there is certainly tension at moments and Driver once more proves himself an actor of great promise, Hungry Hearts falls between two baby chairs - neither satisfying as a thriller nor convincing as a drama.
The 71st Venice Film Festival takes place from 27 August to 6 September 2014. For more coverage, follow this link.