The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things is a 2004 film directed by and starring Asia Argento. It is based on JT LeRoy's novel of the same name. The film received a limited release in North American theatres on March 10 2006.

The title is taken from the King James Version of the Bible, Book of Jeremiah, chapter 17, verse 9.


The film revolves around a tattered relationship between Sarah (Argento), a drug addict, and her son, Jeremiah (played by Jimmy Bennett at age seven, and by Cole and Dylan Sprouse at age 10). Their life together is marked by drug-taking, heavy drinking, prostitution, stripteases and sex.

Sarah repeatedly becomes involved with a series of men who treat her and Jeremiah poorly, and uses them as an excuse to abandon her son. She disappears to Atlantic City with her current boyfriend, Emerson (Jeremy Renner), whom she then abandons; Emerson returns to their home and rapes Jeremiah. After a trip to the hospital, Jeremiah's grandmother takes him to a West Virginian radical Christian cult led by his grandfather (Peter Fonda). After three years with the cult, Sarah returns to reclaim a now 11-year-old Jeremiah. Sarah's s current lover, Kenny, a truck driver, eventually abandons them at a stripjoint while Sarah is dancing. Sarah realizes that if she is going to keep her men, then she cannot say Jeremiah is her son. Jeremiah allows his mother to persuade him into cross dressing so he can act as her 'little sister', and Jeremiah's crossdressing evolves to include his mother's seduction techniques. After dressing up as a 'baby doll' version of Sarah, Jeremiah/Sarah seduces Jackson (Marilyn Manson), his mother's latest man, who initially tries to rebuff the boy's advances, but then rapes him. Furious with Jackson for giving in to the boy's advances and with Jeremiah for ruining her panties, she takes Jeremiah and leaves.

Later, they are seen in a house where the basement houses a meth lab which later blows up with Sarah's latest boyfriend inside. After fleeing, and while detoxing from meth, Sarah is convinced that everyone is after them, and that only certain foods are edible (mainly chips and soda), she then convinces Jeremiah that if they eat anything but those foods, they will be poisoned. Which then leads Sarah and Jeremiah on a failed attempt to shoplift at a grocery store, afterwards Jeremiah finds a hamburger to eat from a dumpster. His mother, in a state of "meth psychosis" is convinced the food he ate was poison, and makes him drink ipecac in order to make him better and rid him of any 'poisons'. Jeremiah wakes up in the hospital with his grandmother beside him. She tells him that Sarah is in the psychiatric ward. Later that night, Sarah collects Jeremiah from his hospital room, and, rather than have him go back to the cult, she clutches her son's hand and they both walk away in hospital gowns. The final scene is of Sarah and Jeremiah driving away.

DVD error

It has been confirmed by Argento and distribution company, Palm Pictures, that the Region 1 edition of the DVD lacks an approximate two minutes of footage (predominantly the meth lab explosion) due to an authoring error during mass production. Those that have purchased the Region 1 DVD may contact Palm Pictures directly and a replacement disc, with all scenes intact, will be offered in exchange.


Actor Role
Asia Argento Sarah
Jimmy Bennett Young Jeremiah
Cole and Dylan Sprouse Older Jeremiah
(The Sprouse Twins kept switching every scene.)
Peter Fonda Grandfather
Ornella Muti Grandmother
Kip Pardue Luther
Jeremy Renner Emerson
John Robinson Aaron
Ben Foster Fleshy Boy
Marilyn Manson Jackson
Michael Pitt Buddy
Jeremy Sisto Chester


Although the soundtrack to the film was never commercially released, here is a list of different songs featured in the movie, along with the scenes they are played in.

  • "Born to be Dizzy" - The Starlite Desperation (Sarah and Jeremiah drive away from the hospital)
  • "Karen Koltrane (instrumental version)" - Sonic Youth (Jeremiah draws on the walls)
  • "Beautiful Plateau" - Sonic Youth (Sarah and Jeremiah drive away from exploding meth lab)
  • "Linda Lovelace" - David Allen Coe (Kenny leaves Jeremiah alone in truck after "cleaning up")
  • "She Said" - Hasil Adkins (Sarah gets Jeremiah and meets Kenny)
  • "Muskrat" - Pagoda (At the end, when Jeremiah leaves the diner)
  • "Mickey Mouse is Dead (live)" - The Subhumans (Before Kenny changes the tape)
  • "Two Time Girl" - Knoxville Girls (after Kenny pulls over to get Sarah's tape)
  • "There He Goes" (Asia Argento cover) - Loretta Lynn (At strip club with Sarah)


See also

External links

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