This is my first foray into the directorial work of Asia Argento and, I must say, I'm an instant fan! "The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things" is a bleak, coming-of-age drama that is certainly NOT for everyone, but for me personally, I live for this kind of shit!
Argento plays a scummy, drug addled whore who, somehow, gains custody of her 7 year-old son who had previously lived his life with a nice foster family. Biological mommy lives in squalor - fucking degenerate redneck, cowboy, bar patrons - which launches the kid into an unstable, abusive, and overall helpless lifestyle involving drugs, molestation, beatings, and all-around neglect. After being hospitalized for a sodomy perpetrated by one of mommy's loathsome suitors, the kid is handed over to his grandparents who run a religious, cult-like household that molds him into a Jesus-preaching slave for three years until his miscreant mother finds him again and pulls him BACK into her world of pathetic, contemptible, reprobate dependency that she is forever submersed in. Her mental instability is in full swing, which prompts her to allow her child to be fed meth, dress him up like a girl - thus being molested by another boyfriend - and poison him.
"The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things" definitely shows that Asia Argento isn't following in her father's footsteps of slasher/giallo horror, but rather going down her own indie-drama route, not unlike what Harmony Korine and Gregg Araki are doing. This film is almost unbearably depressing and, by the time it's over, you'll feel a bit winded. Again - NOT a film for everyone. Such harshly represented displays of child abuse don't sit so well with most people - so if that kinda shit in a film bothers you, I'd recommend steering clear. If you're not afraid to delve into some "heavy" shit than I surely advise you to seek this one out.