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Bleeding Heart 

Wednesday, Dec 9 2015
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Diane Bell's dramaBleeding Hearthas its heart in the right place, but not much else. May (Jessica Biel) is a successful yoga instructor and devotee of non-violence who tracks down her long-lost biological sister, a sex worker nicknamed Shiva (Zosia Mamet) who lives with her abusive pimp Cody (Joe Anderson). May wants to help Shiva out of that life, but no one else wants her to, neither May's boyfriend Dex (Edi Gathegi) nor her mother Martha (Kate Burton), and certainly not Shiva herself.Bleeding Heartunwisely attempts to justify Shiva's use of that name, mangling Manhattan Project physicist Robert J. Oppenheimer's famous (and easily researched) quotation from theBhagavad Gita,"I am become death, destroyer of worlds." Cody misquotes it as "I am Shiva," which is wrong on multiple levels — Vishnu said it, not Shiva — and the misquoting goes unchallenged, as though the movie itself doesn't know any better. It's a little thing, but the little things are where the well-meaning Bleeding Heartoften stumbles. Certain actions by Dex and Martha in the third act have no motivation other than to set up the script's final confrontation, by which point it's hard to care whose blood gets spilled. There's a core of a good idea here, but the film itself is pale and anemic.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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