Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke, Clémentine Grenier, Manon Clavel, Alain Libolt, Christian Crahay, Roger Van Hool, Ludivine Sagnier, Laurent Capelluto, Jackie Berroyer
Runtime: 1 hr 46 mins
Released By: Golden Village Pictures
Opening Day: 2 January 2020
Synopsis: Fabienne is a star – a star of French cinema. She reigns amongst men who love and admire her. When she publishes her memoirs, her daughter Lumir returns from New York to Paris with her husband and young child. The reunion between mother and daughter will quickly turn to confrontation: truths will be told, accounts settled, loves and resentments confessed.
With age, time and changes in life’s experiences, how do we define what is true? Is it something that is out there within eye’s reach or is it a perception that we create based on our experiences?
The Truth is a French film, directed by Hirokazu Koreeda (whom also directed Shoplifters), about a daughter of an actress mother coming back to her mother’s place to congratulate her on the success of her biography. Through her stay, she is confronted by the conflicts and issues that she has had with her mother and have to find a way to work through her feelings and emotions to find the truth about her relationship with her mother.
So, the thing that attracted me the very most is the fact that you have a director working on a film in a language that is not native to him or her. In this case, a Japanese director working on a French film. It is always interesting to see different people interpreting different cultures and languages in their own style.
What I love about the film is that it is like a story within a story. The story takes us into the actress mother accepting a role in a film about a mother and daughter relationship. And although maybe quite a simplistic idea and reference to the actual film, it did help in referencing the main plot and making the film relatable.
The cast, although largely unknown to many unfamiliar with French films (with the exception of Ethan Hawke), compromises of a pair of really experienced actresses, whom still manages to wow the audiences with their great skills, and many others whom made the film natural and realistic in many aspects.
Sadly, even with such a great cast and a magnificent story, it is strange that the film is not able to make a huge impact on the viewers and, in fact, turned out slightly mediocre. It is uncertain if it is the way it was directed or the lack of a strong storyline or focus that might have played a part in the overall feeling.
It also did not help that the scenes were slightly jumpy, which might attribute to confusion within the viewers. However, it did have some proper structure and sequence through the scenes, but it still did not assure viewers at all.
Also, the tone throughout the film was slightly monotonous and did not have much room for the viewers to feel the emotions that could or should have been displayed.
Despite that, the film did have a great script that portrayed depth and provoked a fair amount of relatable thoughts, which unfortunately was plagued by many factors that stopped the film form being as amazing as it should be.
Overall, The Truth is endearing and somewhat lovable, yet forgettable and unmemorable. It could have made a bigger impact with its great story, yet strangely did not deliver well. Truthfully, it is a little of a waste, considering its potential.
(Beautiful story with a lack of strong direction and impact. You might be slightly disappointed. Consider watching this on the weekdays)
Review by Ron Tan