×

Cannes Film Review: ‘Stop the Pounding Heart’

Documentary-like portrait invents a budding attraction between a devout Christian girl and free-spirited Texas bullrider.

With:
Sara Carlson, Colby Trichell.

Delivering a nonjudgmental ethnographic portrait of what many Americans might dismiss as “trailer trash,” Italian director Roberto Minervini’s “Stop the Pounding Heart” depicts a segment of Texas society where guns, livestock and the Holy Bible rank as the most important priorities in life. Likely to prove most interesting to foreign auds, this rural, documentary-like portrait reunites two faces familiar from Minervini’s previous films: Sara Carlson, teen daughter of the goat-farming family seen in “The Passage,” and bull-riding Colby Trichell, who appeared in “Low Tide.”

Though primarily just observing their daily patterns, the helmer ever-so-slightly manipulates his two “actors” to suggest a budding attraction between devout Christian Sara and free-spirited cowboy Colby. Beyond a bit of shy flirtation between the two teens, they barely belong in the same movie, which limits the pic’s dramatic potential. Where “Heart” excels, however, is simply in capturing the rhythm of life, particularly in Sara’s household, which makes time for prayer, scripture readings and home-schooling lessons. Naturally, Sara is full of doubts and questions, which suggest a rowdier path — a la Rumspringa-themed 2004 reality show “Amish in the City” — that Minervini’s handheld, one-take-only approach deliberately avoids.

Cannes Film Review: 'Stop the Pounding Heart'

Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Special Screenings), May 19, 2013. Running time: 100 MIN.

Production: (U.S.-Belgium-Italy) A Pulpa, Polianna Prods., Ondarossa Film presentation and production with the support of Houston Film Commission. (International sales: Doc & Film Intl., Paris.) Produced by Dennis Lee, Luigina Smerill, Joao Leite.

Crew: Directed by Roberto Minervini. Camera (color, HD), Diego Romero Suarez-Llamos; editor, Marie-Helene Dozo; sound, Thomas Gauder; sound editor, Ingrid Simon.

With: Sara Carlson, Colby Trichell.

More Film

  • BOTM-Eve-Viper-Gang

    Director Angus Gibson: My Audience is ‘Young, Black South Africans’

    DURBAN–Sophiatown, 1958. On the outskirts of Johannesburg, as the apartheid police prepare to demolish the community at the heart of black South African cultural and intellectual life, a notorious gang leader is determined to make a last stand. Resisting the forced evictions that will transport the residents of Sophiatown to a desolate township miles away, [...]

  • marvel

    Marvel Phase 4 Plan Revealed, But Comic-Con’s Big Winner is Disney Plus

    In a triumphant return to the San Diego Comic-Con main stage, leadership at Marvel Studios managed some splashy surprises and showed off risky creative bets for the next two years of content coming from the superhero operation. But the biggest takeaway from the Saturday presentation inside Hall H was how important Marvel will make Disney [...]

  • Florence Pugh, O. T. Fagbenle, Rachel

    'Black Widow': Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh Go Head-to-Head in First Footage

    Marvel’s “Black Widow” has only been in production for a month, but studio president Kevin Feige still delivered the goods for fans at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. Filmmakers brought an intense sizzle reel of on-location shots, kicked off by a dazzling and bone-crushing fight sequence between lead Scarlett Johansson and her on-screen sister Florence [...]

  • Natalie Portman Thor

    Natalie Portman Returns for 'Thor: Love and Thunder' as Female Thor

    Natalie Portman is coming back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but she’s no one’s love interest this time around. The Oscar winner will play a female god of thunder in the fourth film from the Chris Hemsworth series, titled “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Portman hit the stage at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday to great [...]

  • Fantastic Four

    New 'Fantastic Four' Movie in Development at Marvel

    Marvel is going back to the Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige announced that a new movie based on the superhero group is in the works at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. Further details, however, including a release date, were not revealed. It marks the first Fox property for Disney to mine since the [...]

  • Mahershala AliMarvel Studios panel, Comic-Con International,

    Mahershala Ali to Star in Marvel's 'Blade' Reboot

    Marvel is rebooting the “Blade” series, and has cast Mahershala Ali to star. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige announced the news at Comic-Con on Saturday as the panel’s big ending surprise. Ali also took the stage at the announcement to massive applause, donning the Blade baseball cap. Wesley Snipes previously played the half-vampire superhero in [...]

  • Doctor Strange

    'Doctor Strange' Sequel Billed as First MCU Horror Film at Comic-Con

    A sequel to “Doctor Strange” was announced as expected on Saturday at Marvel’s Comic-Con panel — what we didn’t see coming was the tone. Director Scott Derrickson said the film, titled “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” will mine the original comics and play up “the gothic, the horror.” Derrickson said it will lead [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content