The film covers the entire history of a relationship, from the first meeting between the gregarious Jude (Adam Driver, also appearing at the Festival in While We’re Young and This is Where I Leave You) and the shy, withdrawn Mina (Alba Rohrwacher) when they are trapped together in a restaurant washroom — a foreboding of what will transpire — to the film’s shocking denouement.
Jude is American, Mina Italian. The two eventually marry and she gets pregnant. We sense early on that things may go awry given Mina’s slight eccentricities, but it is with the premature birth of their child that the couple’s very different ideas about parenting come into conflict. As the baby fails to gain weight, Jude and his hovering mother start to suspect that Mina’s beliefs are threatening the child’s survival.