Kore-eda Explores Dynamics of a French Family in ‘The Truth’

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After the global success of the Cannes Palme d’Or-winning “Shoplifters,” master auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda’s wry and charming new dramedy “The Truth” (La vérité), released by Palace Films, pairs beloved Academy Award nominees Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche for the first time, as a celebrated actress and her estranged daughter whose tentative reunion offers an opportunity to either repair or irrevocably fracture their relationship.

Fabienne (Deneuve) is a star; a much loved, larger-than-life icon of French cinema. When she publishes her memoirs, her screenwriter daughter Lumir (Binoche) returns to Paris from New York for the occasion, with her struggling actor husband Hank (Ethan Hawke) and their inquisitive young daughter Charlotte (Clémentine Grenier) in tow. 

It comes as no surprise to Lumir that everything in her grand childhood home still revolves around her mother, and as she begins to read Fabienne’s book it becomes clear it’s riddled with omissions and embellishments – especially with regard to her relationship with the great artistic rival of her past, Sarah Mondavan.

Fabienne herself has no time for explanations and small talk; she’s preparing for her next film, a science-fiction drama, cast alongside a rising new talent (Manon Clavel) touted as ‘the next Sarah Mondavan’. When Fabienne’s long-suffering assistant unexpectedly quits, she and Lumir are reluctantly forced into an awkward working relationship, with Lumir revisiting the same film studios where she spent countless hours as a child.

As the on- and off-set worlds begin to amusingly – and movingly – intertwine, suppressed emotions can no longer be kept in check…

Hirokazu Kore-eda

With a keen knowledge and love of French cinema, Kore-eda lends this film the observant, tender eye audiences have come to cherish. Warmly compared to Olivier Assayas’ exquisite “Summer Hours” by multiple critics upon its Venice premiere, “The Truth” is a very special cinema experience: a gentle, sly and moving exploration of reality and fiction, family, performance, and the great spectacle of life. It’s a love letter to mothers and daughters everywhere.

Kore-eda’s other films include “The Third Murder,” “After the Storm,” “Our Little Sister,” “Like Father, Like Son,” “I Wish,” “Air Doll,” “Still Walking,” “Hana,” “Nobody Knows,” “Distance,” “After Life” and “Maborosi,”

“The Truth” is now available at home on demand. Length: 107 minutes. Mild themes, sexual references and coarse language. Japanese title: 真実 (Shinjitsu). Official site: https://www.palacefilms.com.au/thetruth/ 

“Excellent. An absolute masterwork. Wonderfully directed, Kore-eda tackles themes of parents and children that he’s explored throughout his career, transposing them to the seductively glamorous and well-heeled context of a show business family, using the idea of fiction – the fiction of filmmaking but also of celebrity narrative – to explore troubling questions around motherhood and career. Very intelligent… so deep with what it says about the roles we play. An extraordinarily insightful and generous film.” — Jason Di Rosso, ABC Radio National/The Mix

“Very cleverly constructed. Kore-eda confronts memory, selfishness and long-simmering resentment between mother and child, but in quite a gentle way. It is actually a reflection of Deneuve, herself a grand diva of French cinema. And she is superb. The compassion of this Japanese master shines through. There’s so much to enjoy in this film.” — Margaret Pomeranz, Foxtel Arts Screen

“Works splendidly. A gentle film composed of many delights.” — David Stratton, The Australian

“Glorious to watch. Warm, witty and emotionally perceptive.” — Sarah Ward, Concrete Playground

“Delightful. Unfolds in the most satisfying way. If you like complex human studies directed and realised with the utmost finesse, make sure you put this one on your holiday viewing list.” — Julian Wood, Filmink

“Elegant and delightful. Absolutely fascinating and full of interesting ideas – it sucks you right in. I really enjoyed it.” — Graeme Blundell, Foxtel Arts Screen

“Delightful. A rich film that explores the murky area between fact and fiction, probing just what it is exactly that makes a family. There are subtle and distinguished performances from the entire cast, coaxed by a director whose work, above all, exudes empathy.” — Kate Jinx, The Big Issue

“Absorbing. An exploration of our attachment to the idea of truth that plays in a very Shakespearean way with questions of performance and reality.” — Felicity Chaplin, Australian Book Review

“Exquisite. Directed with remarkable precision. This is instantly, perhaps inevitably, one of Deneuve’s greatest performances, with Kore-eda transforming the magisterial persona she frequently supplies to other directors into something more complex, tragic and yet defiant.” — Kevin Maher, The Times

“Sophisticated and pleasurable. From first shot to last, it’s a film of high wit and confidence and verve, an astonishingly fluid and accomplished act of boundary-leaping. Deneuve gives a magnificent performance: grand, subtle, lacerating and fearless. It’s a must-see.” — Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“In every barbed exchange, in every imperious gesture — and especially in those moments when the facade briefly cracks — Deneuve finds riveting notes of fragility beneath Fabienne’s fearsome, formidable self-control. It’s the late-career movie she has always deserved.” — Jessica Kiang, The Playlist

“Delightful. Kore-eda’s understanding of the complexities of familial love and the disappointments of middle age is as wise as ever. A wistful comic pleasure.” — Nicholas Barber, BBC

“Wise and diaphanous. A warm and quietly moving family portrait, with the kind of sensitivity and emotional intelligence that only a master storyteller can bring to the table.” — David Ehrlich, Indiewire

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