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Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) 2018

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Critics Consensus: Understated yet ultimately deeply affecting, Shoplifters adds another powerful chapter to director Hirokazu Koreeda’s richly humanistic filmography.

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Critic Consensus: Understated yet ultimately deeply affecting, Shoplifters adds another powerful chapter to director Hirokazu Koreeda’s richly humanistic filmography.

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Critic Reviews for Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku)

Kore-eda’s gentle drama about a made-up “family” of thieves living on the margins of society is shot through with the director’s trademark generosity and attention to behavior.

Another charming, funny and very affecting example of Kore-eda’s special brand of tough-but-tender humanism.

What it lacks in newness it makes up in raw humanity.

Who better than Kore-eda, a director who whispers instead of shouts, is able to capture contradictions and issues though such a subtle, unforced style of storytelling?

Koreeda provides us with another exemplary portrait of hopeful people in hopeless situations.

Sex, love, puberty and even death are all handled with a refreshing level of honesty, never letting a life lesson become a big moment, but rather another step in growing up, a true reflection on the way real life works.

Shoplifters is built on an outrageously melodramatic plot, but in Kore-eda’s hands, it comes off as natural, touching and genuine.

This is Kore-eda at his most subtle, nuanced and morally inquiring.

Where Shoplifters ultimately goes is at once unexpected and inevitable, arriving at a startling, powerful conclusion that is carried on the back of one of the strongest screen ensembles in years.

The film derives it gut-wrenching emotional power from just how spare it is.

As an observer of the various dimensions and dynamics of families, [director Kore-eda Hirokazu] is a modern master.

Koreeda’s quiet, angry masterpiece reaffirms once again that no other filmmaker working today has a better understanding of – or compassion for – families.

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On the day I watched Shoplifters, the news in Japan was dominated by the story of a 5-year-old girl, beaten and starved by her parents, writing messages in her notebook begging for love. An eerily similar storyline is threaded through Shoplifters, but Koreeda’s prescience is no accident – he engaged with similar stories in his 2004 film Nobody Knows. Family, in various degrees of warping, is the focus of Koreeda’s opus.

Shoplifters concerns a three-generation family living on the fringes of society. Dad apprentices his son in the art of shoplifting, telling him things on a store shelf do not actually belong to anyone. He also tells the boy that only stupid kids have to go to school, which is why he doesn’t. The older daughter performs in a seedy red-light peep show, and Mum works in a low-paid laundry job, searching pockets for any stuff she can pilfer. They live with granny, though any time a visitor comes they all have to hide themselves.

This warm but abnormal family is slowed revealed to be conjoined in ways we did not expect. The catalyst for this is Dad and son bringing home a neglected 5-year-old girl they come across abandoned on an apartment balcony on a freezing winter night. The girl comes home with them, and slots into the family, a pattern, we slowly realise, that has been repeated in the past. Granny was ‘picked up,’ and the son seems to have arrived by similar means. Their warmth and humanity is at odds with the illegality and disregard for social mores. Society judges such people, but by allowing us intimacy with them, Koreeda shows how society is also judged by them – and found wanting.

The slow revelation of the family’s background, the naturalistic interactions, the judicious spacing of shocks and surprises, are all evidence of a master filmmaker in perfect sync with his material. The performances are sublime. Franky Lily and Kirin Kiki are Koreeda regulars and both are tonally perfect here. Koreeda shows that he still has a deft touch with child actors, first seen in Nobody Knows, a film that garnered a Cannes acting award for 12-year-old Yuya Yagira. Jyo Kairi has resonances of Yagira, both in his physical characteristics and his mannerisms. The maturity of his performance is stunning. Sakura Ando is outstanding as the mother-figure, made wise by bitter experience but also upbeat in her approach to life. Her threat to kill a minor character is chilling. One scene, where she performs straight to camera, answering a question on what her ‘children’ called her, rips your heart out.

There are many set pieces to enjoy here. A sharing of noodles on a humid summer day was one favourite; listening to, but not seeing, a firework display was another (what a metaphor for this family’s peripheral status!). But the joy comes from the way the whole thing gels and shimmers, and provides steely insight on contemporary Japanese society, and the human condition. These are flawed individuals and Koreeda does not avert a critical gaze from their individual responsibility. The film explores big questions on living a good life and taking responsibility in an uncaring society. A simply stunning film.

Excellently scripted and full of impressive subtleties, Shoplifters is a harrowing look at a working-class family in Tokyo, in the business of trying to simply make ends meet day by day. At first glance this may seem like just a story of this family resorting to petty crime, but as the plot gradually unfolds the reasons for the behaviour and decisions of each character is revealed, and al the dots begin to connect amidst this struggle.

Certainly seeing some of the characters getting involved in decidedly immoral behaviour- for example, the shoplifting carried out by the young boy and his father (as the title indications) and one young lady making a living off involvement in the porn industry, can be uncomfortable to see and it does present the characters in this film as morally dubious. But the whole situation that these people are in, and partially choose to create themselves, is eventually presented to the audience with unassuming subtlety, which is beautiful to watch. The overall tone of this film is fairly grim, and there is definitely raw emotional power to many scenes, but the acting and the script never at any point becomes overly sentimental or tragic. The scenarios and emotions that each character faces is really presented as it is, but of course with much delicacy.

This film may be relatively slow-paced and not visually stunning, but is breathtaking nonetheless. It’s no wonder why it managed to win the Palme D’or! It’s definitely going to end up as one of the best films of the year and will probably be recognised as a classic long in the future. Regardless of which culture you’re from, I highly recommend checking this film out. It should deeply resonate with and impress any film lover.

In a portrayal of a lower class Japanese family, director Hirokazu Koreeda explores again the theme of family and the driving force of children. Yet to him, a family may not be blood related. Only care and respect defines a family – except here the parents teach the kids to shoplift.

The film opens with a father (Lily Franky) and son (Jyo Kairi) picking up a girl (Miyu Sasaki) shivering in her cold balcony and brought her to their warm home with hot meals. The audience then slowly see other members of the family – mother (Sakura Ando), grandma (Kirin Kiki) and granddaughter (Mayu Matsuoka). But as the story unfolds, we would discover more how they are related.

Although it is not blood that links them together, the family is close with an interdependent relationship or team work that also involves love and care. Grandma has her retirement fund but she does not want to die alone, and she cares for others with very sharp perception and emotions. Would this be a better alternative than putting the lonely elderlies into a nursing home? The characters do not ask the government to change policy. Instead, they take the matter in their own hands and form their own way of existence.

Mom and Pa probably have fertility issues but they care for each other and bring in more children in their own ways. Here it echoed the director’s theme in “Like father, like son” – it does not matter if it is blood related as long as there is love, also in “Nobody knows” – many family secrets and the community is kind to kids. It was not clear how Akiko, the grandma’s hubby’s mistress’ granddaughter got into the family. But she is a lonely soul and seeks comfort from another lonely patron (Sosuke Ikematsu) who is also a marginal character in society. In fact, all the family members are marginal members in society, living in the crack of the city center and can only “listen” to the fireworks.

Echoing the importance of quality time as shown in “Like father, like son”, here all the meal times are bonding time. A trip to the beach naturally slide in sex education. All these require sensitive and perceptive adults even though they do not have kids/grandkids of their own. This can be a wake-up call for the aging Japanese society with decreasing birthrates and growing trend of singleton. Would this pluralistic family be an alternative for the basic human need of affection?

Of course the controversial part is the family’s profession – shoplifting. But in their perception, they just reuse and recycle what other people abandon. They do not snatch. They just pick up people/things that others do not want – wife, son, daughter, grandma, clothes and household items (if they are in the store they do not belong to anyone). Then they treasure whatever they have or whoever they are.

Very smooth and delicately written script. Excellent acting: low key and natural and yet so believable. But it was the kids that steal the show. Their innocence yet determination makes you feel both sad and happy. In this extended but close-knit family where all members were picked up by chance, there is lot of love. The family decides to stick together and stay on. Even the picture book Shota the son reads is a story of uniting to fight a bigger enemy – swimmy fish against the big tuna. Really subtle script writing.


Sad but also heartwarming. All the adults are very sensitive and caring, perhaps a projection of the director. They are also very reserved and do not say “thank you” or “dad” out aloud.

We see lots of recurring themes here. It seems that “Shoplifters” can be an extension of “Nobody knows” where we see how kids are abandoned in their own home. “Shoplifters” give them a new home. Unfortunately it is a solution not approved by the system. Yet the same issues exist all along: kids are left in the car in “Nobody knows” – who become the picked up Shota in “Shoplifters”. Dead bodies have to be buried. Mealtime is a bonding time: from curry to instant ramen to paper. Parent’s haircut shows their care etc .

Overall, it shows lots of issues in modern Japanese society and offered some light for the future, one that might deviate from the establishment/tradition or morality but built with lots of passion, hope and care. The director really cares for the society and is exploring whether a self-pick family would work. In his world it does but the system does not seem to allow it. Unlike “Nobody knows” which has bright sunshine in the end signaling hope, “Shoplifters” has a more pessimistic outlook, as if announcing the impracticality of the director’s exploration of this new family formation.

Great movie. Highly recommended.

For this stunning masterpiece Shoplifters, Hirokazu Koreeda should win the Academy Award for Best Director. It is unbelievable that the rather complicated characters and their relationships are depicted in just two hours. The approach is mild, understated, low-profile, subtle and nuanced. Much room, space and thought are left to the viewers. The direction is simply super smart.

The cinematography is extraordinary, with some surprising long shots, close-ups and beautiful shots from tight angles. The editing is speechless, connecting numerous scenes just seamlessly. Not a single minute is wasted, and the film is largely intense and arresting. Together with the brilliant performances from the ensemble cast, the result is a satisfying and deeply affecting drama on lower class in Japan.

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Shoplifters 2018

Manbiki kazoku

This year’s surprise Cannes Palme d’Or winner is one of Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s finest films, about a loving, unconventional family making ends meet on the margins of Tokyo.

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The Roxy Cinema

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Few filmmakers are as delicate observers of family units – and especially of children – as Kore-eda Hirokazu, and Shoplifters radiates with the same joyous naturalism and sad wisdom of his best work. The eponymous shoplifters are the Shibatas, a low-income family of five struggling away in a tiny corner of Tokyo. Scrimping and saving, as well as stealing whenever necessary, this overcrowded household one day opens their door to an abused child wandering the neighbourhood. Wary of exposing their own living situation, they ignore the authorities and secretly adopt the little girl – to everyone’s greater happiness, but also peril.

The permissible definition of what makes a family is constantly under suspicion, even as we witness the Shibata’s closeness. Their ethical predicament will ultimately be laid bare in ways that resound long after this passionately humane film reaches its final frame.

A triumph of subtlety over spectacle, Shoplifters was awarded this year’s Palme d’Or at a festival usually overrun by the most controversial or brazenly political films. In fact, as socially conscious as recent Cannes-winner I, Daniel Blake, the potency of Kore-eda’s latest caught everyone off guard – a testament to his masterfully understated approach to human life, and to the power of calm, compassionate voices in a world where we can barely hear one outrage over another for all the screaming. — Tim Wong

“With Shoplifters, [Kore-eda’s] embrace is as ferocious and beautiful and loving as that of a mother trying to hug away all her child’s fears. His Cannes[-winning] film is a gorgeous thing, a kind of culmination of all of the director’s best qualities…

Beneath even the sunniest parts of this seasonal story, about a makeshift Japanese family scarcely one rung from the bottom of the social ladder who supplement their menial jobs with petty theft, runs a groundwater trickle of anger that swells to a delta in the final moments. Shoplifters showcases one of the modern cinema’s great empaths deploying compassion like a time-delay nerve agent; this is Kore-eda’s expansive humanism, weaponised.” — Jessica Kiang, Sight & Sound

Shoplifters 2 film

Shoplifters

The drama has surpassed the huge number taken by Kore-eda’s 2013 hit Like Father, Like Son, according to distributor Gaga, and the film now ranks seventh among all releases in the territory this year, moving ahead of Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One and sitting just behind The Boss Baby and Avengers: Infinity War. After two weeks at number one in the weekly charts it is currently sitting second behind newcomer Solo: A Star Wars Story.

More than 2.6M people have flocked to see the socially conscious picture about an impoverished family who make ends meet by running petty scams and take in a child they find on the street. It’s a remarkable achievement for an art-house movie: indeed it is the best performance by a Japanese live action film so far this year and the best performance by a Japanese drama in many years. The pic has taken twice the box office of blockbusters such as Deadpool 2 and Black Panther, which played on twice the number of screens.

Views: 669

Genre: Drama

Country: Japan

Duration: 121 min

Release: 2018

IMDb: 7.9

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Trailer: Shoplifters

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Shoplifters 2018

Manbiki kazoku

This year’s surprise Cannes Palme d’Or winner is one of Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s finest films, about a loving, unconventional family making ends meet on the margins of Tokyo.

Light House Petone

The Roxy Cinema

Share This Film

Director/Screenplay/ Editor

Photography

Production designer

PROUDLY SPONSORED BY

Few filmmakers are as delicate observers of family units – and especially of children – as Kore-eda Hirokazu, and Shoplifters radiates with the same joyous naturalism and sad wisdom of his best work. The eponymous shoplifters are the Shibatas, a low-income family of five struggling away in a tiny corner of Tokyo. Scrimping and saving, as well as stealing whenever necessary, this overcrowded household one day opens their door to an abused child wandering the neighbourhood. Wary of exposing their own living situation, they ignore the authorities and secretly adopt the little girl – to everyone’s greater happiness, but also peril.

The permissible definition of what makes a family is constantly under suspicion, even as we witness the Shibata’s closeness. Their ethical predicament will ultimately be laid bare in ways that resound long after this passionately humane film reaches its final frame.

A triumph of subtlety over spectacle, Shoplifters was awarded this year’s Palme d’Or at a festival usually overrun by the most controversial or brazenly political films. In fact, as socially conscious as recent Cannes-winner I, Daniel Blake, the potency of Kore-eda’s latest caught everyone off guard – a testament to his masterfully understated approach to human life, and to the power of calm, compassionate voices in a world where we can barely hear one outrage over another for all the screaming. — Tim Wong

“With Shoplifters, [Kore-eda’s] embrace is as ferocious and beautiful and loving as that of a mother trying to hug away all her child’s fears. His Cannes[-winning] film is a gorgeous thing, a kind of culmination of all of the director’s best qualities…

Beneath even the sunniest parts of this seasonal story, about a makeshift Japanese family scarcely one rung from the bottom of the social ladder who supplement their menial jobs with petty theft, runs a groundwater trickle of anger that swells to a delta in the final moments. Shoplifters showcases one of the modern cinema’s great empaths deploying compassion like a time-delay nerve agent; this is Kore-eda’s expansive humanism, weaponised.” — Jessica Kiang, Sight & Sound

Shoplifters 2 film

SHOPLIFTERS Unclassified 18+

Ever-prolific MIFF favourite Hirokazu Kore-eda (The Third Murder, also in this year’s program) took out the 2018 Palme d’Or with his latest deeply felt slice of Japanese life, exploring the heartbreak and hidden secrets of a family of small-time thieves.

In true Kore-eda fashion, the writer/director/editor’s 13th feature is both a humanistic portrait and an indictment of a society so willing to cast struggling people aside – as anchored by lived-in turns from his regulars Lily Franky (After the Storm, MIFF 2016; Our Little Sister, MIFF 2015; Like Father, Like Son, MIFF 2013) and Kirin Kiki (I Wish, MIFF 2012; Still Walking, MIFF 2009).

For the Shibatas, every day brings new troubles, particularly of the monetary kind. Father Osamu and pre-teen son Shota shoplift what they can, but one light-fingered session sees them bring home something different: abandoned, abused five-year-old Juri, whose presence sparks joy as well as life-changing revelations.

“Among the very best of the writer/director’s delicate, deceptive and profoundly moving dramas about the forces that hold a family together (or don’t).” – IndieWire

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MOVIE TRAILERS

Full International Trailer for Hirokazu Kore-eda’s New Film ‘Shoplifters’

Another first look at another highly anticipated Cannes film this year. A full official trailer for the new film from beloved Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, titled Shoplifters, has debuted online. The film is premiering in-competition at the Cannes Film Festival next month, and looks like it will get some big buzz at the festival. Shoplifters is about a family of small-time crooks, but the story is really about what happens when they take in a young girl they find living on the street one day. The film’s cast includes Lily Franky, Sakura Ando, Kirin Kiki , Kengo Kora, Sosuke Ikematsu, Chizuru Ikewaki, Yuki Yamada, Yoko Moriguchi, and Akira Emoto. This looks really wonderful, it has such a charming, heartwarming feel to it. The trailer has been updated with English subtitles – you can watch below. Definitely worth a quick look.

Here’s the international trailer (+ poster) for Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters, from YouTube (via TFS):

And also here’s the original teaser trailer for Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters, also from YouTube:

After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them… Shoplifters is both written and directed by acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, of films including Maborosi, Without Memory, After Life, Distance, Nobody Knows, Still Walking, Air Doll, Like Father Like Son, Our Little Sister, and After the Storm previously, plus most recently The Third Murder just last year. This will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in competition this May. It will then open in theaters in Japan in June, but no other release dates are set yet. Stay tuned. Your thoughts on this?

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