July 26, 2021

Criticism: Criticism of “The truth” (“La vérité”), by Hirokazu Kore-eda, with Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke

-After winning the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival with We are a family, the notable Japanese director of titles like Maborosi: The Light of Illusion, After Life … life after death, Distance, Nobody knows, A day in family, Of such father, such son, Our younger sister Y After the storm made her debut in French cinema with this valuable film about the conflictive relationship between a mother (famous actress) and her writer daughter, conceived for the display of two actresses of the talent of Deneuve and Binoche.
-After its premiere at the Venice, Toronto and San Sebastián festivals, the launch in Argentine cinemas was delayed almost two years due to the pandemic and now reaches 9 theaters in CABA, Buenos Aires province and Mendoza.

The truth (The truth, France-Japan / 2019). Direction and edition: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke, Clémentine Grenier, Manon Clavel, and Ludivine Sagnier. Screenplay: Hirokazu Koreeda and Ken Liu. Photography: Eric Gautier. Music: Alexei Aigui. Distributor: MACO Cine. Duration: 106 minutes. Suitable for all audiences. Rooms: 9 (Cinemark Palermo, Cinépolis Recoleta, Atlas Patio Bullrich, Lorca, Multiplex Belgrano, Showcase Belgrano, Showcase Norcenter, Cinema Paradiso de La Plata and Nave Uncuyo de Mendoza).

Nothing is what it seems in The truth, a very inspired approach to the way in which human beings tend to build our reality from illusions, longings, white lies, selective memory and a set of penetrating fictions, with cinema being one of the most powerful and intoxicating. Representations that, during the course of a lifetime, end up shaping what we call our personality, our truth.

Built like a festival of unfolding, The truth places one of its plots in a cinematographic shoot, a movie-within-the-movie (a science fiction maternal-child drama) that functions as a distorted reflection of the tense relationship between the characters of Catherine Deneuve (who plays a semi-functional version of herself) and her fictional daughter, a screenwriter played by Juliette Binoche. The obvious resonances between the different levels of fiction refer to Opening Night, of John Cassavetes, and – unlike what happened in the dense and theoretical The other side of success by Olivier Assayas, ideas and emotions flow very lightly here. Showcasing his talent for creating a certain illusion of narrative lightness, Kore-eda builds on The truth a resounding theater of life in which comedy and drama coexist harmoniously.

On the other hand, the new film by the director of We are a family It can be seen as a compliment to the figure of the actor. The truth She can’t help but joke with Deneuve’s iconic public image: her characteristic coldness and haughtiness glow humorously when the diva disdainfully listens to a comment on the repeated initials of French “great actresses” (Anouk Aimée, Brigitte Bardot, Simone Signoret … but not Catherine Deneuve). However, private jokes are put aside when the character angrily argues that, as an actress, “I don’t have to tell the truth. That is not interesting ”. A sentence that finds a beautiful reflection in one of the most charming threads of the film, where Deneuve convinces her granddaughter that, like a witch, “grandmother” is capable of turning people into animals.

In his leap from the portrait of Japanese marginal life to the Parisian bourgeois reality, Kore-eda Hirokazu manages to keep the expressive force of his naturalistic cinema almost intact. On The truth, the camera is at the service of the actors and a virtuous gesture is seldom allowed, although when it does the film shines: a long shot of Binoche’s neck reflects a personality annulled by an insensitive mother, while the image of Deneuve reflected on a window and haloed by diffuse exterior lights is presented as the perfect representation of a state of existential confusion.


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