Yet the film is nothing like that generically. In fact, it is another of the intricate and nuanced family dramas in the classical Japanese style, of which Kore-eda has made himself a modern master. Its significant plot shifts happen unobtrusively, almost invisibly, except for those big, heart-wrenching revelations in its final section. I Wish is still my favourite Kore-eda film, but, on a second viewing of Shoplifters for its UK release, I can see how the comparison was ungenerous. This is a brilliant and audacious film, one of his very best, a study of family trauma and fear of poverty, reviving themes from earlier films such as Nobody Knows and Like Father Like Son
Connect with ABC News
In all my 29 years at the Cannes Film Festival , I have seen only two movies that proved to be the darling of the critics as they did of the jury. If I remember right, Dheepan never travelled to India, but Shoplifters is arriving today — Friday, and will be screened at all PVR theatres across the country. With English subtitles, the film will be a delight to watch. I quite enjoyed it when I first saw it at Cannes, and my second viewing at Chennai the other evening was as enjoyable as my first.
The Atlantic Crossword
Everybody's hooked on something. What's life without its little pleasures? Mere struggle for survival. Smokers crave nicotine, coffee-drinkers caffeine, gamers games.
Shoplifters is, very quietly, a film about a crisis. The Shibata family comprises three generations crammed together into a small home—the adults earn low wages; work menial jobs; and struggle to feed, clothe, and educate the kids. The situation in Shoplifters is, on the surface, rather complicated. The whole Shibata family lives in the home of grandmother Hatsue the legendary Kirin Kiki in her final role , who receives a small pension. Shoplifters is littered with wry humor and is refreshingly free of judgment. The premise—a poor family essentially kidnaps a young child—could be the foundation for a thriller, but Shoplifters feels more like modern Dickens, with Osamu as a kindly and benevolent version of Fagin, teaching his young charges how to survive in a harsh environment. So much of what the Shibata family does is out of love, but there are heavy prices to pay for not obeying societal rules. When the Shibatas take Yuri in, they give her a haircut and change her name to avoid attracting attention, but they also show her, for the first time in her life, the value of familial connection.