FILM by  Jorge Ignacio Castillo

Hungry Hearts
RPL Film Theatre
July 9-12
4 out of 5

Adam Driver has come a long way since his first appearance as the resident odd duck in Girls just three years ago. Driver will be the main villain in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and has a movie with Martin Scorsese in the pipeline.

At some point in his meteoric career, Driver managed to star in this very small indie, which packs a bigger punch than expected. Hungry Hearts takes current trends in alternative baby-rearing — natural birth, vegan feeding, ummm, anti-vaccination beliefs — and turns them into acts of child endangerment (which anti-vaccination beliefs most certainly are). Still, the movie’s goal isn’t to denounce anything — it’s to make the audience as uncomfortable as possible.

Driver is Jude, an engineer who falls in love with Mina — a mousy Italian (the terrific Alba Rohrwacher). Their relationship kicks into high gear when she becomes pregnant and the couple decides to get married. While very much in love, it soon becomes clear there’s a lot they don’t know about each other. For example, Mina worries about the toxicity of her surroundings and trusts shamans more than doctors.

After allowing Mina to make all the decisions regarding the baby’s well-being, Jude soon realizes the infant is not growing and the mother is wasting away. He doesn’t just have to battle Mina’s highly dangerous beliefs — it quickly becomes clear he may have to sacrifice one of the two to save the other.

Hungry Hearts does a good job depicting escalation as well as the (very un-PC) conundrum the father faces. Perhaps not the best movie to watch before going to sleep, but if you want originality, Hungry Hearts is  recommended.