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The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things 2006

NR
3.4 out of 5 stars (66) IMDb 6.6/10

Seven year old Jeremiah is pulled from his foster home and thrown into a troubled life on the road with his teenage mother, Sarah.

Starring:
Asia Argento, Jimmy Bennett
Runtime:
1 hour, 37 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Asia Argento
Starring Asia Argento, Jimmy Bennett
Supporting actors Kara Kemp, Brent Almond, David Dwyer, Kip Pardue, Jeremy Renner, David Brian Alley, Lydia Lunch, Ornella Muti, Dylan Sprouse, Cole Sprouse, Peter Fonda, John Robinson, Lindy Maguire, Ben Foster, Matt Schulze, Marilyn Manson, Jeremy Sisto, Michael Pitt
Studio FilmBuff
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jessica Lux on June 27, 2006
Format: DVD
Note to consumers: The original release of this DVD contains an authoring error, resulting in an abrupt jump that bypasses the "explosion" scene (which can be seen in the previews). Palm Pictures has been very responsive to email requests for replacement versions of the DVD, and if you purchased a defective item, you should contact them via their web site.

J.T. Leroy's "true" life tale about a teenaged truck stop prostitute and her son was first told in a collection of short stories by the same name. The movie follows the early years of Jeremiah, a boy who experiences child rape, has gender confusion, lives as a scavenger, is brainwashed by evangelical Christians, and experiences a revolving door of his mother's boyfriends and tricks. The big screen version follows the written version closely; however, I highly recommend that viewers also pick up a copy of the book (and Leroy's earlier work Sarah) to answer any questions about the backstory, the red bird metaphor, the story of Sarah's own youth, the inner strength of Jeremiah, and more.

Director/Actor Asia Argento is brilliant, pure and simple. She portays child rape and the harrowing seduction of a grown man (Marilyn Manson) by a teenaged boy in drag with artistic genius. Viewers don't need to see the "monster" in full light, and their imagination of the rest of the scene is far more disturbing. As an actor, she portrays Sarah as a chameleon who shifts from a drop-dead looker to a trashy stripper to a drug-addicted junkie to a loving mother to a hateful creep in mere minutes (and then shifts back again). She is both drop-dead gorgeous and completely hideous. Three young actors portray Jeremiah as a stoic boy who grows up in this chaotic environment, and all of them are excellent.
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Format: DVD
The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (Asia Argento, 2004)

I've watched a lot of horror movies over the years. Most have all the horror of a dull toothache. Some are disturbing in various degrees. A select few have actually managed to scare me. As with all things, though, the truly scary films-- Johnny Got His Gun, for example-- are not traditional horror films. I say this by explanation of the statement that the opening scene of The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, in all its banality, before we have any idea who these people are or any idea of their relationship beyond what we can infer from their sexes and ages, is arguably the most terrifying scene I have ever watched. In comparison, a couple of hours previously I'd watched Jenifer, a short film by Asia Argento's father Dario. In my Jenifer review, I was planning on calling it one of the most disturbing experiences I'd ever had with a movie. Then I watched the first five minutes of this flick, and that went out the window.

Argento (Asia, this time) shoots the scene with the documentarian feel of a Lindsay Anderson or an Errol Morris-- there's no camera trickery, no out-of-the-ordinary dialogue, no weird set design, there are just two people, whom we assume (rightly, we find out) are mother and son.
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Format: DVD
Asia Argento was the perfect pick to direct this film. The final product displays Argento's dedication to the spirit of the book. The film is raw and gritty, just like the work of Laura Albert. Unlike the Hollywood movies that the slumbering American audience has grown accustomed to, this film explores the dark crevices of human experience. Works like this one help people like you and me come to terms with life's less kind aspects, the things which we experience or know of that we aren't allowed to talk about. These things shouldn't be confined to the shrink's office, but should be explored in art. It is high time we stop feeling so ashamed of the things which give us depth, the things which complete the human experience. This work is heart breaking but it is also therapeutic. It is definitely one of my favorite movies of the year.
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Format: DVD
This was never dull. I was riveted (and maybe a little disgusted) throughout the entire movie. I actually thought Asia's directing of this movie was excellent. Far better than Scarlet Diva. I appreciated that the disturbing scenes were mostly left up to your imagination and there was very little violence or "gore". The subject matter was not pleasant, but neither is life sometimes. I got the feeling that if Angelina Jolie had starred in it (and don't get me wrong, I love her) the whole world would have been crowing about how courageous she was for telling such a story. The end was a little confusing, but I found it to be very "real"-as in there aren't always happy endings in real life or neat conclusions. Except for Asia's accent which at times is southern, then italian and other times "american" which I guess was explained with the throw-away line about the mother being from Italy. Other wise, very well done.
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