Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Truth / La Vérité - Movie Review

The Movie: The Truth / La Vérité

The Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda

The Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ludivine Sagnier and Ethan Hawke

The Story: A stormy reunion between scriptwriter Lumir with her famous mother and actress, Fabienne, against the backdrop of Fabienne's autobiographic book and her latest role in a Sci-Fi picture as a mother who never grows old.

The Review:
A couple of years ago, director Hirokazu Kore-eda created a film called Shoplifters that absolutely blew me away as he sort of redefined the human experience as it relates to families and also deconstructed what being a family actually means. I think with this movie, it's not as much about shaking things up as it is about taking a look at our place within a family structure as we grow older. Of course, putting the incomparable Catherine Deneuve front and center in the lead role is going to be a plus no matter what so that was definitely a good place to start.

This movie seems more like a generational conversation when it comes to family rather than one that is about the immediate family dynamic. There are lots of gaps in the relationships both mentally and emotionally and the director really pushes this into the forefront and drives most of the drama throughout the film. Deneuve plays a world renowned actress who is faced with being aged out of the business at the same time young talents are blossoming around her. The story keeps her on the brink of collapse and only her stubbornness and blind determination keep her moving forward, often at the expense of her family and relationships.

For my part, I didn't feel as much of a connection to the story as I did with Shoplifters although it did touch me in different way so maybe a direct comparison shouldn't really be looked at. I really enjoyed Ethan Hawke in his role as Hank who is a bit of an outlier to the family and sometimes a voice of reason within the chaos. Hank's relationship with his daughter Charlotte, played by Clémentine Grenier, is very charming and is often a nice antidote for some of the heavier material in the story.

I would say overall this is a good movie and a solid effort from Hirokazu Kore-eda although I can't shake the feeling that I was looking for more considering the result of his previous film. The Truth is very much an actors showcase and the performances from top to bottom are quite brilliant, I hadn't even mentioned Juliette Binoche, I just wish the quality of the story had been up to the same level.

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