Shoplifters (2018)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5

Original title:  Manbiki kazoku

, 2018.  , .  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Music by .  Production Design by Costume Design by .  Film Editing by Hirokazu Koreeda. 

Hirokazu Kore-eda revisits the dynamics of Still Walking but set within the world of a poor family living on the skids.  An aging matriarch lives with three adults and a young boy, their clan expanding with the discovery of a little girl playing alone on the street outside her unhappy home.  Taking her in and away from parents who are always viciously fighting, this merry band of ragtags introduce the young woman to their special brand of survival, filching items from stores, their outlook on life one that emphasizes a sense of freedom from rules and conformity rather than any moral quandary over the ethics of how they get by.  As time goes on, though, their way of life becomes more difficult to maintain: the boy becomes conflicted about their existence, while the old lady’s secrets begin to surface into view, leading to some very interesting revelations that put a fascinating spin on the truth about who these people are, what they mean to each other, and what the meaning of family is in a world that makes it so difficult for so many to survive.  Kore-eda’s investigation of morality under capitalism is a surprisingly cold affair, not nearly the deeply emotional experience of family life that Our Little Sister and Like Father Like Son are, hitting brilliantly on an intellectual level but rarely inspiring deep feelings for the characters it contains.  As a result, it feel thorough and satisfying but, by the time its lengthy conclusion finally draws to a close, a bit tiresome and preachy as well.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Foreign Language Film

Cannes Film Festival Award:  Palme D’Or

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Foreign Language Film

Toronto International Film Festival:  2018


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